The most difficult times can produce the greatest spiritual blessings. God truly knows just what we need at every moment!

Sunday, September 30, 2007

XXVI Sunday in ordinary time - C

Penitential rite:

Lord Jesus, you became poor so that we might be made rich, Lord have mercy,
Christ Jesus, you teach us to recognize you in the poor, Christ have mercy,
Lord Jesus, you invite us to share our wealth, Lord have mercy,

May Almighty God have mercy on us, forgive us our sins, and brig us to everlasting life. Amen.

Amos 6:1, 4-7; 1 Timothy 6:11-16; Luke 16:19-31

Wealth and richness is neither a sin, nor a crime, but is a very dangerous sickness, causing blindness.

Jesus is concerned with both, rich and poor -- and perhaps more with the rich since the poor are less in danger! God wants to save the rich from their wealth.

The brick

A young and successful executive was traveling down a neighborhood street, going a bit too fast in his new Jaguar. He was watching for kids darting out from between parked cars and slowed down when he thought he saw something. As his car passed, no children appeared. Instead, a brick smashed into the Jag's side door! He slammed on the brakes and backed the Jag back to the spot where the brick had been thrown.

The angry driver then jumped out of the car, grabbed the nearest kid and pushed him up against a parked car shouting,

"What was that all about and who are you? Just what the heck are you doing? That's a new car and that brick you threw is going to cost a lot of money. Why did you do it?"

The young boy was apologetic.
"Please, mister...please, I'm sorry but I didn't know what else to do," He pleaded.

"I threw the brick because no one else would stop...."

With tears dripping down his face and off his chin, the youth pointed to a spot just around a parked car. "It's my brother, "he said "He rolled off the curb and fell out of his wheelchair and I can't lift him up." Now sobbing, the boy asked the stunned executive, "Would you please help me get him back into his wheelchair? He's hurt and he's too heavy for me."

Moved beyond words, the driver tried to swallow the rapidly swelling lump in his throat. He hurriedly lifted the handicapped boy back into the wheelchair, then took out a linen handkerchief and dabbed at the fresh scrapes and cuts. A quick look told him everything was going to be okay.

"Thank you and may God bless you," the grateful child told the stranger.

Too shook up for words, the man simply watched the boy push his wheelchair-bound brother down the sidewalk toward their home. It was a long, slow walk back to the Jaguar. The damage was very noticeable, but the driver never bothered to repair the dented side door. He kept the dent there to remind him of this message:

"Don't go through life so fast that someone has to throw a brick at you to get your attention!"

Some shameful statistics from the book of Patrick Viveret: “Reconsidérer la richesse”

Money can lead man into blind selfishness. How blind we are?

• We need 6 billion dollars yearly to assure the education for all children in the world who are not yet in school
• At the same time only in Europe, people spend annually 8 billion dollars on perfumes.
• Nearly 1 billion people entered the 21st century unable to read a book or sign their names.
• The world needs 13 billion dollars annually to feed all who are hungry
• At the same time in the USA, 25 billion dollars is spent each year on pet food

• Each day some 30 thousand children under the age of 5 are dying due to poverty. That is about 210,000 children each week, or just under 11 million children under five years of age, each year.
• Each day in France with a population of 63 million, 60 thousand tons of food goes to the garbage

Global Priority $U.S. (Billions)
Basic education for all 6 billion
Water and sanitation for all 9 billion
Reproductive health care for all 12 billion
Basic health and nutrition 13 billion
Total 40 billion
Military spending in the world 780 billion
only in USA 550 billion

• The world is able to feed the population of 16 billion people (currently we are about 6 billion)
• The problem is not overpopulation but the unequal distribution of goods.
• “The problem is not in demography but in lack of ethics” (Pope John Paul II)

20% of the population in the developed nations consumes 86% of the world’s goods.

Military spending in the world – 780 billion dollars
Drugs – 400 billion dollars
Alcohol (only in Europe) – 105 billion
Cigarettes (only in Europe) – 50 billion
Leisure (only in Japan) – 35 billion
Pet’s food only in USA – 25 billion

To feed all hungry during a year – 13 billion

Perfumes in USA and in Europe – 12 billion
Ice-cream only in Europe – 11 billion

Water for all in the world who don’t have it yet – 9 billion
School for all children who are not yet in school- 6 billion

In your lifetime you received all good things … what did you do with them?

It’s an important and very challenging question.

Prayer of the faithful:

The failure of the rich man to come to the aid of the poor man Lazarus is a call for all of us to recognise that our neighbour is anyone and everyone in need. On this Social Justice Sunday we pray for a true spirit of justice and mercy within the human family

Lord Jesus, you have made every man, woman and child, your neighbor, worthy of your love. Help us to embrace one another in the spirit of your universal and unconditional love, for you are Lord, for ever and ever.

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