“Cursed is the man who trusts in man, blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord.”
A reading from the Book of Jeremiah17:5-10
Thus says the Lord: “Cursed is the man who trusts in man and makes flesh his arm, whose heart turns away from the Lord. He is like a shrub in the desert, and shall not see any good come. He shall dwell in the parched places of the wilderness, in an uninhabited salt land. “Blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord, whose trust is the LORD. He is like a tree planted by water, that sends out its roots by the stream, and does not fear when heat comes, for its leaves remain green, and is not anxious in the year of drought, for it does not cease to bear fruit.” The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately corrupt; who can understand it? “I the Lord search the mind and try the heart, to give to every man according to his ways, according to the fruit of his doings.”
The word of the Lord.
RESPONSORIAL PSALM Psalm1:1-2.3.4 and 6 (Psalm 40:5ab)
R/. Blessed the man who has placed his trust in the Lord.
Blessed indeed is the man
Who follows not the counsel of the wicked,
Nor stands in the path with sinners,
nor abides in the company of scorners,
but whose delight is the law of the Lord,
and who ponders his law day and night. R/.
He is like a tree that is planted
beside the flowing waters,
that yields its fruit in due season,
and whose leaves shall never fade;
and all that he does shall prosper. R/.
Not so are the wicked, not so!
For they, like winnowed chaff,
shall be driven away by the wind.
For the Lord knows the way of the just,
but the way of the wicked will perish. R/.
VERSE BEFORE THEGOSPEL Luke 8:15
Glory and praise to you, O Christ. Blessed are those who, hearing the word, hold it fast in an honest and good heart, and bring forth fruit with patience. Glory and praise to you, O Christ.
Good things came to you and bad things to Lazarus, now he is comforted while you are in agony.
A reading from the holy Gospel according to Luke 16:19-31
At that time: Jesus said to the Pharisees, “There was a rich man, who was clothed in purple and fine linen and who feasted sumptuously every day. And at his gate lay a poor man named Lazarus, full of sores, who desired to be fed with what fell from the rich man’s table; moreover the dogs came and licked his sores. The poor man died and was carried by the angels to Abraham’s bosom. The rich man also died and was buried; and in Hades, being in torment, he lifted up his eyes, and saw Abraham far off and Lazarus in his bosom. And he called out, ‘Father Abraham, have mercy upon me, and send Lazarus to dip the end of his finger in water and cool my tongue; for I am in anguish in this flame.’ “But Abraham said, ‘Son, remember that you in your life time received your good things, and Lazarus in like manner evil things; but now he is comforted here, and you are in anguish. And besides all this, between us and you a great chasm has been fixed, in order that those who would pass from here to you may not be able, and none may cross from there to us.’ And he said, ‘Then I beg you, father, to send him to my father’s house, for I have five brothers, so that he may warn them, lest they also come into this place of torment.’ But Abraham said, ‘They have Moses and the prophets; let them hear them.’ And he said ‘No, father Abraham; but if someone goes to them from the dead, they will repent.’ He said to him, ‘If they do not hear Moses and the prophets, neither will they be convinced if someone should rise from the dead.”’
The Gospel of the Lord.
“No man is an island”. That is the title of one of the many books of the renowned Cistercian monk, Father Thomas Merton. We humans depend on one another on a lot of things in the physical world to come into existence and to function. The prophet Jeremiah, however, cautions against putting too much trust in people and the things of this world. God is the only one who can and who should be trusted a hundred percent. That is because God can never let us down, whereas people and things can let us down, even when they don’t want to or mean to. The rich man in the Gospel story let Lazarus down by not caring for him and was, in time, made to pay for it very dearly. As far as it lies in our power we should not let down those who look up to us for a helping hand.