Is this already the last Wednesday of September?
Here are some more things to consider.
This weeks’ Gospel: Luke 16:19-31 The Message
19-21 “There once was a rich man, expensively dressed in the latest fashions, wasting his days in conspicuous consumption. A poor man named Lazarus, covered with sores, had been dumped on his doorstep. All he lived for was to get a meal from scraps off the rich man’s table. His best friends were the dogs who came and licked his sores.
22-24 “Then he died, this poor man, and was taken up by the angels to the lap of Abraham. The rich man also died and was buried. In hell and in torment, he looked up and saw Abraham in the distance and Lazarus in his lap. He called out, ‘Father Abraham, mercy! Have mercy! Send Lazarus to dip his finger in water to cool my tongue. I’m in agony in this fire.’
25-26 “But Abraham said, ‘Child, remember that in your lifetime you got the good things and Lazarus the bad things. It’s not like that here. Here he’s consoled and you’re tormented. Besides, in all these matters there is a huge chasm set between us so that no one can go from us to you even if he wanted to, nor can anyone cross over from you to us.’
27-28 “The rich man said, ‘Then let me ask you, Father: Send him to the house of my father where I have five brothers, so he can tell them the score and warn them so they won’t end up here in this place of torment.’
29 “Abraham answered, ‘They have Moses and the Prophets to tell them the score. Let them listen to them.’
30 “‘I know, Father Abraham,’ he said, ‘but they’re not listening. If someone came back to them from the dead, they would change their ways.’
31 “Abraham replied, ‘If they won’t listen to Moses and the Prophets, they’re not going to be convinced by someone who rises from the dead.’”
Because the tea shop was crowded, a man took the other chair at her table and ordered tea. The woman [already seated there] was prepared for a leisurely time, so she began to read her paper. As she did so, she took a cookie from the package on the table, and noticed that the man across from her also took a cookie from the same package. This upset her greatly, but she ignored it and kept reading. After a while she took another cookie. And so did he! This unnerved her and she glared at the man.
While she glared, he reached for the fifth and last cookie, smiled and offered her half of it. She was indignant. She paid her money and left in a great hurry, enraged at such a presumptuous man. She hurried to her bus stop just outside. She opened her purse to get her fare. And then she saw, much to her distress, that in her purse was her own package of cookies unopened.
Told by Walter Brueggemann
Living in the second half of life, I no longer have to prove that I or my group is the best, that my ethnicity is superior, that my religion is the only one that God loves, or that my role and place in society deserve superior treatment. I am not preoccupied with collecting more goods and services; quite simply, my desire and effort—every day—is to pay back, to give back to the world a bit of what I have received. I now realize that I have been gratuitously givento—from the universe, from society, and from God. I try now, as Elizabeth Seton said, “to live simply so that others can simply live.”
This chapter is closed now,
not one word more
until we meet some day
and the voices rising
to the window
take wing and fly.
Open the old casement
to the lands we have forgotten,
look to the mountains and ridgeways
and the steep valleys, quilted by green,
here, as the last words fall away,
the great and silent rivers of life
are flowing into the oceans,
and on a day like any other
they will carry you again,
on the currents you have fought,
to the place where you did not know
And just as you came into life
you go out again,
from one unknown
and fall and turn
and appear again in the mountains
how in the beginning
could not speak of,
did not even know
you were that
of eternal presence.
~ David Whyte ~