Homily — 26th Sunday OT C September 30, 2007

Homily — 26th Sunday OT C                   September 30, 2007

As is mentioned in this week’s bulletin, this is the week of the Angels in the Catholic Church.

Yesterday was the feast of the Archangels Michael Gabriel and Raphael, and Tuesday is the feast of the Guardian Angels.

And we see Angels making a cameo appearance in the Gospel today also.

When poor Lazarus, covered with sores, neglected by the rich and powerful of the world, dies, Jesus tells us he was carried away by angels to Heaven.

We can imagine the angels arguing over which ones will have the honor of carrying him there.  “I deserve to!  No, me!”  The angels loved Lazarus, not only because he was poor and needy and unjustly treated, but even more because of his humility and simplicity:  Lazarus was content with the scraps, the leftovers, he wasn’t envious of those better off than him.

But what’s rather interesting is that while Lazarus has an in with the angels, no angels seem to be around to carry the rich man of the parable to heaven when he dies.

Unfortunately for him, not an angel could be found who was willing to do the job.  Even the rich man’s guardian angel was fed up with the guy.

Probably one of the main reasons no angel wanted to help him was because the rich man failed to have a servant’s heart.

When an angel sees a human on earth who’s so self centered he or she won’t be of service to others, they are reminded of an angel they once knew named Lucifer, who also said “non serviat — I will not serve God.”

And even after the rich man dies, it seems to some scripture commentators that he’s still trying to order people around:  “Abraham, you send Lazarus over here to wait on me.   Lazarus, you go down to my rich brothers to wait on them also.”

But while the rich man could boss humans around on earth,  that’s not going to work however in the afterlife.

St. Paul’s words to Timothy in the Second Reading gives us some tips on how to get chummy with the angels:  But you, man of God, Paul says, pursue (not fine linen and sumptuous food, but) righteousness, devotion, faith, love, patience and gentleness.  Pursue those things and angels will be your pals.

Compete well for the faith.  The redeemed part of us is competing with the fallen part.  (the good angel on one shoulder is competing with the evil angel on the other — listen to that good one)

 Lay hold of (not a life of sin, but) eternal life, and keep the commandment of Love and Service without stain or reproach until the appearance of our Lord Jesus Christ.

If we follow St. Paul’s advice today, when our life is over, the angels will see Lazarus in us, and not the rich man.

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