Readings for September 25, 2016 Year C Proper 21 (26)

First Reading and Psalm

  • Jeremiah 32:1-3a, 6-15
  • Psalm 91:1-6, 14-16

Second Reading

  • 1 Timothy 6:6-19

Gospel

  • Luke 16:19-31

Alternative First Reading and Psalm

  • Amos 6:1a, 4-7
  • Psalm 146

Full lections can be read here.

Based on the Readings as Set

Because of his refusal to be a “good news” prophet Jeremiah finds himself under house arrest as Jerusalem is fatally besieged by Babylon’s armies. Understanding that this is the end of the world as he knows it, he may have been inclined to resist the word of the LORD that he purchase soon to be worthless property in his home town. After doing so, however, he is assured that he has made an excellent long-term investment because YAHWEH will restore prosperity to the land. The Psalmist assures us that those who take refuge in YAHWEH will experience the wonderful richness of his salvation. St. Paul warns Timothy that the priority of pursuing wealth leads to spiritual ruin, while the pursuit of righteousness will end in the “life that really is life” when Jesus Christ is finally made manifest. In the Gospel Jesus vividly illustrates this same truth through his story of the rich man and Lazarus. In so doing he teaches that riches can so blind us to spiritual realities that even someone sent from beyond the grave cannot get our attention!

Based on the Alternative Readings

Amos decries the rich who are “at ease in Zion” even as the nation disintegrates around them. Instead of grieving over the coming disaster they are blinded by their enjoyment of material wealth. They will therefore be the first to go into exile and oblivion. The Psalmist would agree: the way of the wicked will come to ruin. But he adds that God will bless the faithful, first with the hope of his reign and then with its realization.

 

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