Homily for Sept 26


Twenty Sixth Sunday in Ordinary Time C 2010
McKendree College Homily
(the parish homily was modified to fit the stewardship of time and talent)

Jesus only told half the story about Lazarus; Jesus said nothing about what led to the downfall of Lazarus.  Lazarus was born into a high middle class family.  As the youngest child, he was used to getting his way.  He was spoiled with attention, toys, and games.   He was not an intelligent child; to make up for it he would raise terror at school.  His classmates were scared of his tactics.  Every week there was at least one classmate being stuffed into a locker or receiving a swirly.  His teachers despised him because of his attitude and the way he spoke to them.  In high school, Lazarus started smoking joints and he didn’t think anything of it.  A bright spot in his life was Clare.  Clare was beautiful, sweet, and saw much potential in Lazarus.  They started dating and married shortly after their high school graduation.

Life seemed to be going well for Lazarus.  After their first year of marriage, they had a baby girl.  Over the next five years, they had one boy and another girl.  Lazarus even received a promotion at work.  One day, Clare returned home early from a night of shopping and she was shocked at what she saw; there was her husband inappropriately abusing their oldest daughter.  Clare did the right thing and called the police.  

The court sentenced Lazarus to ten years of prison.  Upon his release, Lazarus could not find a suitable job.  Lazarus worked odd jobs but as quickly as he would receive money, Lazarus would spend it on alcohol or drugs to cope with the pain.  Day after day Lazarus would heckle the rich man.  “Come on, can’t you spare a few coins?”  The rich man cared a great deal about people; in fact, he even established a million dollar endowment at the local Catholic grade school.  He knew who was deserving of the money and he also knew the money he gave Lazarus would be wasted on drugs.  Even when the rich man gave Lazarus money, Lazarus would urinate on his lawn or leave behind his waste. 

Lazarus was a pest.  He reeked of urine, sweat, smoke, and dirt.  No one could stand to be around him because of his smell.  He never bathed and sores broke out all over his body.  He was unappreciative of any help that anyone gave.  When he came to the church for a meal, he would be upset if they did not have the particular lunchmeat he wanted that day or if they would not cook him a grilled chicken sandwich when all the others were satisfied with their cold sandwich and chips. 


Now that you know the full story, would you help Lazarus?  Who deserves heaven and who deserves punishment? 


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