20-Sep-2016 Dear Friend,
It is surprising that those who have much are often greedy; while those who 
have little always have much to share. Is our sole purpose in life to be rich 
and possess much? Thomas Merton said, “If you have money consider that perhaps 
the only reason God allowed it to fall into your hands was in order to find joy 
in throwing it away.” Have a joyful weekend sharing what you have with others. 
-Fr. Jude.
Sun Ref. XXVI Sunday: “Live a loving and caring life now to attain the next!” 
25-Sep-2016Amos 6: 1, 4-7;          1 Tim. 6: 11-16;          Luke 16: 19-31;

Amos speaks to the wealthy people in Zion close to the mountains of Samaria, 
who feel secure with their wealth and riches. They spend their time in comfort 
sprawled on their divans, wining and dining in luxury. “Woe to you” he warns 
them, “your music and revelry will be reduced to silence and sorrow.” Amos is 
the prophet of social justice and he chastises those who enjoy themselves at 
the expense of the poor. A prophet in spite of himself, he slashes at the 
wealthy families of the northern kingdom. Their indifference to the miseries of 
the poor and their insensitivities to the ruin of the northern kingdom will be 
punished by exile. Amos points to the shallowness, of comfort and security 
provided by wealth.

Caring and sharing with the poorDr. Samuel Johnson was a great lexicographer, 
writer, critic and conversationalist. He was the first one to make an attempt 
to write the English Dictionary. William Barclay gives this account of his 
kindness and generosity. “Surely one of the loveliest pictures in literary 
history is the picture of Johnson, in his own days of poverty, coming home in 
the small hours of the morning, as he walked along the Strand, slipping pennies 
into the hands of waifs and strays who were sleeping in the doorways because 
they had nowhere else to go.” When someone asked him how he could bear to have 
his house filled with ‘necessitous and undeserving people’, Johnson answered, 
“If I did not assist them no one else would, and they must not be lost for 
want.” Dr. Johnson cared and was concerned about the beggars and the strays 
that flocked to him.John Rose in ‘John’s Sunday Homilies’
In today’s Gospel Jesus tells the story of a rich man and a poor man. The rich 
man dresses magnificently and feasts lavishly every day. The rich man is not 
only rich in clothes and food but is also rich in privileges and in the freedom 
he enjoys from all that besets the poor. His privilege conceals from him his 
responsibilities; it blinds him to the man who lies at his own gate. He is not 
a bad man but one who is wrapped up in his own world, insensitive to the needs 
of others around him. In contrast to the rich man there is Lazarus, who is 
clothed in rags and covered with sores. Lying at the gate, he has no food. He 
does not beg for food, but hopes for scraps that fall from the master’s table, 
which the dogs fight for. He is in need, but whom no one cares for. He dies at 
the gate of the rich man and is buried. The next scene is after-life where 
there is a reversal of fortunes. Lazarus is now well dressed and enjoying the 
heavenly banquet. In contrast the rich man is in torment and in flames. This 
agony creates awareness and compassion for his brothers and he hopes Lazarus 
can return to earth to warn them. His regret and compassion are not enough and 
no warning can be given to his brothers. They have the teachings of scripture 
to warn them and the poor at their gates could be their salvation. Like the 
brothers on earth, we have the scripture to warn us of the dangers of riches 
and overindulgence, and we have Lazarus –the poor at our gates. We also have 
someone who did rise from the dead who constantly reminds us of the way to 
heaven. That is more than enough.
Vanity of WealthThe famous Greek law-giver Solon once went on a vacation to the 
town of Lydia, in what is now the country of Turkey. It boasted to have the 
richest king in the world, named Croesus. Solon, the great philosopher, -quite 
detached from all possessions of this world –decided to visit the man who 
seemed to find all his happiness in wealth. As soon as he got to the place, 
Croesus decided to show his vaults. “What do you think of that?” he demanded 
triumphantly. But Solon kept silent and so the king went on, “Who do you think 
is the happiest man in the world?” The philosopher thought for a moment, and 
then named two obscure Greeks whose names Croesus had never heard before. The 
king was angry of being cheated out of a compliment, so he asked sharply for an 
explanation. Solon answered, “No man, my friend, can be considered really happy 
whose heart is wedded to material things. They pass and their owner becomes a 
widow. To the widows, belongs grief. Or to the man himself who passes away, and 
can take none of his gold with him. Again it is only grief.”Frank Michalic in 
‘1000 stories you can use’
Schweitzer and the PoorAlbert Schweitzer has been acclaimed the world over as a 
multiple genius. He was an outstanding philosopher, a reputable theologian, a 
respected historian, a concert soloist, and a missionary doctor. But the most 
remarkable thing about him was his deep Christian faith. It was a faith that 
influenced even the smallest details of his life. At the age of 21, Schweitzer 
promised himself that he would enjoy art and science until he was 30. Then he 
would devote the rest of his life to working among the needy in some direct 
form of service. And so on his 30th birthday, on October 13, 1905, he dropped 
several letters into a Paris mailbox. They were to his parents and closest 
friends, informing them that he was going to enroll in the university to get a 
degree in medicine. After that he was going to Africa to work among the poor as 
a missionary doctor. The letters created a stir and many berated him and 
questioned his decision. Nevertheless, Schweitzer stuck to his guns. At the age 
of 38, he became a full-fledged medical doctor. At the age of 43, he left for 
Africa where he opened a hospital at the edge of the jungle in what was then 
called Equatorial Africa. He died there in 1965 at the age of 90. What 
motivated Albert Schweitzer to turn his back on worldly fame and wealth and 
work among the poorest of the poor in Africa? He said that one of the 
influences was his meditation on today’s gospel about the rich man and Lazarus. 
He said: “It struck me as incomprehensible that I should be allowed to live 
such a happy life, while so many people around me were wresting 
with…..suffering.”Mark Link in ‘Sunday Homilies’
Do you care?A man came home from work late and tired. He found his five 
year-old son waiting for him at the door. ‘Daddy, may I ask you a question?’ 
‘Yeah, sure, what is it?’ replied the dad. ‘Daddy, how much money do you make 
an hour?’ ‘That’s none of your business! What makes you ask such a thing?’ the 
man said angrily. ‘I just want to know. Please tell me, how much do you make an 
hour?’ pleaded the little boy. ‘If you must know, I make $20 an hour.’ ‘Oh,’ 
the little boy sighed, head bowed. Looking up, he asked ‘Daddy, may I borrow 
$10 please?’ The father was furious. ‘If the only reason you want to know how 
much I earn an hour is just so you can buy a silly toy or some other nonsense, 
then you can march yourself straight to your room, and go to bed. I work hard 
hours every day, and don’t have time for such childish games.’ The little boy 
went quietly to his room, and closed the door. The man sat down, and began to 
get even more annoyed about his son’s attitude. How dare he ask such questions, 
just to get some money? After an hour or so he calmed down, and began to think 
that he may have been a little hard on his son. Perhaps there was something his 
son really needed to buy with that $10, and he really didn’t ask for money very 
often. The man went to the door of the little boy’s room, and opened it. ‘Are 
you asleep, son?’ he asked. “No, daddy, I’m awake,’ replied the boy. ‘I’ve been 
thinking. Maybe I was too hard on you earlier,’ said the man. ‘I’ve had a long 
day, and I took annoyance out on you. Here’s that $10 you asked for.’ The 
little lad sat straight upright, beaming. ‘Oh, thank you, daddy!’ he exclaimed. 
Then, reaching under his pillow, he pulled out some more crumpled notes. The 
man, seeing the boy already has money, began to get angry again. The boy slowly 
counted out his money, and then he looked up at his dad. ‘Why did you want more 
money if you already had some?’ the father demanded. ‘Because I didn’t have 
enough, but now I do,’ the boy replied. ‘Daddy, I want to give you this $20, if 
you’ll spend an hour with me.’Jack McArdle in ‘And that’s the Gospel truth!’
May we discover our calling to share with the poor the riches we all have!
Fr. Jude Botelho
PS. The stories, incidents and anecdotes used in the reflections have been 
collected over the years from books as well as from sources over the net and 
from e-mails received. Every effort is made to acknowledge authors whenever 
possible. If you send in stories or illustrations I would be grateful if you 
could quote the source as well so that they can be acknowledged if used in 
these reflections. These reflections are also available on my Web site 
www.NetForLife.net Thank you.

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