Podcast: 26th Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year C

This weekend we celebrate the 26th Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year C. The readings for today emphasize the Lord’s disdain for those who are smug and complacent in their wealth while also showing His compassion and mercy toward the poor.

The psalm for today is from chapter 146:

“Praise the Lord, my soul!”

A reminder of God’s desire to comfort and lift up the poor is found in the communion antiphon for today. Taken from Psalm chapter 119 verses 49 and 50, it says:

“Remember your word to your servant, O Lord,
by which you have given me hope.
This is my comfort when I am brought low.”

Featured Songs:

“Psalm 146: Praise the Lord” (Rebecca De La Torre)
https://themodernpsalmist.com/songs/psalm-146-praise-the-lord/

Communion Antiphon: Psalm 119:49-50 (Rebecca De La Torre)
https://themodernpsalmist.com/songs/communion-antiphon-26th-ot/

The Cry of the Poor (Fr John Foley)
https://themodernpsalmist.com/songs/the-cry-of-the-poor/


Featured Songs




Podcast Transcript

Hi and welcome to the Modern Psalmist Podcast. I’m Rebecca De La Torre.

This weekend we celebrate the 26th Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year C. The readings for today emphasize the Lord’s disdain for those who are smug and complacent in their wealth while also showing His compassion and mercy toward the poor.

The psalm for today is from chapter 146:

“Praise the Lord, my soul!”

Although it is a simple refrain of praise, the verses center around the Lord’s perfect justice and compassion and mercy toward the poor.

Psalm 146 tells us that the LORD

“secures justice for the oppressed”,

“gives food to the hungry”

and

“raises up those who were bowed down.”

Here is my interpretation of “Psalm 146: Praise the Lord.”

Psalm 146: Praise the Lord

So especially in the verses from today’s psalm – that we just heard – we are told that the Lord takes care of the poor and oppressed who seek him, but he disdains the proud and the rich.

Moving back to first reading, taken from the first half of Amos chapter 6, the lifestyles of these smug, rich people are described in detail.

Verse 4 says:

“Lying upon beds of ivory,
stretched comfortably on their couches,
they eat lambs taken from the flock,
and calves from the stall!”

And in verse 6:

“They drink wine from bowls
and anoint themselves with the best oils”

But in verse 7, their demise is foretold, saying:

“their wanton revelry shall be done away with.”

I want to take a moment to think about these verses. Having a comfortable bed and couches to rest on, eating lamb or veal and drinking wine and using the best oils…. On the surface, these are things that I certainly have access to. Many of us in the middle class in 1st world countries have easy enough access to good wine and meats and other things that only the rich could acquire 2000 years ago.

So does that make us like the rich described here in the first reading? Not necessarily, but it’s certainly something worth thinking about.

Let’s take a look at the gospel for today, where Jesus tells the famous parable of the beggar Lazarus, who sits at the door of the rich man Dives.

Now, as an aside: historically the rich man has been called “Dives” because dives is Latin for rich or wealthy. But just to be clear, Jesus never specifically names the rich man in this parable.

Back to the parable: taken from Luke chapter 16 verse 19, notice that Dives is described similarly to the rich people from the first reading.

Dives is said to be:

“a rich man who dressed in purple garments and fine linen
and dined sumptuously each day.’

Continuing with verses 20 and 21, Jesus describes Lazarus:

“And lying at his door was a poor man named Lazarus, covered with sores,
who would gladly have eaten his fill of the scraps that fell from the rich man’s table. Dogs even used to come and lick his sores.”

In summary, both men die, but Lazarus
“was carried away by angels to the bosom of Abraham.”

while the rich man went to the netherworld,
“where he was in torment”

There is a lot more to this parable as it Jesus continues to tell it, but for today’s podcast I want to focus on these first few verses and their connection to the rest of the readings for today. Specifically, we are told that not only was Dives very rich and “dined sumptuously each day”, but Lazarus, the poor man, was at his door. This is to say that the rich man knew he was there. He was at his door to his property! Lazarus would have been grateful for the scraps that fell from the rich man’s table.

These few verses at the beginning of our gospel reading today speak volumes. Dives didn’t go to hell for being rich. Being rich isn’t a sin in itself. Dives had a poor man at his door every day that he chose to ignore.

I have to ask myself: who is the poor person that I encounter every day? Do I ignore her? Do I refuse to give to charitable causes? Do I give scraps from my excess and yet think of myself as generous?

I don’t consider myself rich, but compared to the homeless people I see begging in the streets of Phoenix and Seattle throughout the year, it would sure seem that I’m rich.

But again, however the middle class seems rich compared to the poor, it’s what we do with what we have that demonstrates to state of our hearts. Not only do we need to give as generously as we can to worthy charities and the who ask it of us, but we need to remain grateful for our blessings and never allow ourselves to get complacent and Smug like those described in the first from Amos.

Another reminder of God’s desire to comfort and lift up the poor is found in the communion antiphon for today. Taken from Psalm chapter 119 verses 49 and 50, it says:

“Remember your word to your servant, O Lord,
by which you have given me hope.
This is my comfort when I am brought low.”

Communion Antiphon – 26th OT (Psalm 119:49-50)

One song that always comes to mind when the liturgy contains a lot of readings that contrast the rich and the poor is “The Cry of the Poor” by Fr John Foley. I even composed Spanish lyrics for this tune, and titled it “Que Tu Misericordia, Señor”

I believe the lyrics in this song communicate the same spirit of hope in the Lord and gratitude for his goodness that we see in the Psalm and other readings for today.

The Cry of the Poor

That was my recording of “The Cry of the Poor” by Fr John Foley for the 26th Sunday in Ordinary Time, year C. Links to the recordings and sheet music for all the songs featured on this podcast can be found in the show notes or on TheModernPsalmist.com.

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God bless you.