BY: Fr Joachim Omolo Ouko, AJ


HOMILY: The first reading is taken from the Prophet Amos 6:1a, 4-7, in which God will judge the complacency of the people and their leaders. Amos and other prophets include Israel as an enemy of God, as Israel is guilty of injustice toward the innocent, poor, and young women.
He spoke against an increased disparity between the very wealthy and the very poor. His major themes of social justice, God’s omnipotence, and divine judgment became staples of prophecy. He taught on social justice and responsibility in Israel.

Last Sunday he spoke about oppression of the poor, against the people of Israel who sold the poor for silver/a pair of shoes/practiced slavery /misuse of garments taken in pledge. Corruption/bribery where legal injustices were taking place in court of law/ they took bribes/imposed heavy fines on the innocent.
Prophet Amos condemned greed/excessive luxury, the rich for being selfish/greedy/
living in luxury at the expense of the poor and self-indulgence/false sense of security. He also condemned those leaders who could sit at their homes and expected the common people to go to them for help/advice.

He condemned people who were cheating in business as they tampered with the standard weighing scales so that the customer could get less than what they had paid for and those who overcharged on goods that were sold/sold goods of low quality to the poor/mixed grain with chaff.

Robbery and violence in the city/great unrest/ disintegration of the rule of law taking away their grain and worshipping other gods/broke the commandments of God and sexual immorality/temple prostitution.

The people in Amos’ time were looking at their prosperity – what they have produced and accumulated. They would see the land as something that they made, not something that God gave them. This would lead them to a sense of entitlement.
The same is true today. This sense of entitlement fuels the complacency at Christmastime. God provides for the gifts at Christmas. We need to remember that gifts don’t come from our own effort, but from God’s provision.
Thus says the LORD the God of hosts: Woe to the complacent in Zion! Lying upon beds of ivory, stretched comfortably on their couches, they eat lambs taken from the flock, and calves from the stall!

Improvising to the music of the harp, like David, they devise their own accompaniment. They drink wine from bowls and anoint themselves with the best oils; yet they are not made ill by the collapse of Joseph! Therefore, now they shall be the first to go into exile, and their wanton revelry shall be done away with.

The second reading is from the first letter of St. Paul to Timothy 6:11-16, in which Paul exhorts Timothy to stay faithful to God in all things. To strive to become daily more perfect in his observance of the Christian faith.

Faith is defined as belief with strong conviction; firm belief in something for which there may be no tangible proof; complete trust, confidence, reliance, or devotion. Faith is the opposite of doubt.

The Gospel is from St. Luke 16:19-31, in which Jesus tells the parable of the reversal of fortunes between the rich man and the poor man, Lazarus. The rich man had everything a man could desire on this earth and he set his heart on this wealth, to such a degree that he excluded all thought of God or of what followed after death.

The story is about a rich man who was dressed in purple and fine linen and lived in luxury every day. At his gate was laid a beggar named Lazarus, covered with sores and longing to eat what fell from the rich man’s table. Even the dogs came and licked his sores.

The time came when the beggar died and the angels carried him to Abraham’s side. The rich man also died and was buried. In Hades, where he was in torment, he looked up and saw Abraham far away, with Lazarus by his side. So he called to him, ‘Father Abraham, have pity on me and send Lazarus to dip the tip of his finger in water and cool my tongue, because I am in agony in this fire.

But Abraham replied, ‘Son, remember that in your lifetime you received your good things, while Lazarus received bad things, but now he is comforted here and you are in agony. And besides all this, between us and you a great chasm has been set in place, so that those who want to go from here to you cannot, nor can anyone cross over from there to us.

He answered, ‘Then I beg you, father, send Lazarus to my family, 28 for I have five brothers. Let him warn them, so that they will not also come to this place of torment. Abraham replied, ‘They have Moses and the Prophets; let them listen to them.

No, father Abraham,’ he said, ‘but if someone from the dead goes to them, they will repent. He said to him, ‘If they do not listen to Moses and the Prophets, they will not be convinced even if someone rises from the dead.




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