Amos 6:1a, 4-7; Psalm 146:7, 8-9, 9-10 (R/. 1b); 1 Timothy 6:11-16; cf. 2 Corinthians 8:9; Luke 16:19-31
As the gap between rich and poor widens, God’s word could not be more relevant, “Woe to the complacent,” wails Amos. “Pursue righteousness. Lay hold of eternal life,” urges Paul. “Listen to the true ‘Resurrection Man’ before it is too late,” counsels Luke. We have two pictures of complacency today. Amos portrays a pampered people, lying on couches, snacking, sipping, massaged into a state of lethargy, all to soothing music. Then, he chastises us saying, “The party’s over. Get ready for exile.”
Jesus gives us a story of ongoing indolence with a rich man lying on his couch, dressed in soft linen, eating rich food, drinking choice wines every day. He takes no notice of Lazarus lying outside his gate, smelly, starving, and sickly. Death comes for both. The situation is then reversed on them. The difference is the gate has become a gap, an abyss that now separates them. Lazarus rests in Abraham’s bosom; whereas the rich man writhes in torment.
The lesson: Gates have an expiration date. Go through them now to help others. Porta is the Latin word for gate, from which we get the word opportunity. Do no neglect the opportunities – the gates – to help others.
What gates are before you to pass through to help another?