First Reading:                    Amos 6:1a, 4-7

Responsorial Psalm:          Psalm 146:7, 8-9, 9-10 (1b)

Second Reading:               1 Timothy 6:11-16

Alleluia:                             cf. 2 Corinthians 8:9

Gospel:                             Luke 16:19-31



While the Faithful know that Jesus Christ will remain with the Church until the end of time, I am concerned about my role and the roles of the Faithful in that union.  That concern makes the article, “Scandal vs. crisis; PR vs. raw data,” significant for these readings.[1] 

As the Faithful observe and pray for the Magisterium, they can follow what is happening through the insights of Ron Westrum, professor of sociology at Eastern Michigan University.  Westrum proposes six stages for how distressed organizations recover.  I adapt their application to our beloved, but distressed, Church.

The Faithful can expect the institutional church to proceed through six stages with the sex-abuse cover-up scandal.  The first stage is to suppress the facts.  The second stage is to sequester the facts.  The third stage is public relations, where the hierarchy is presently fumbling.  The fourth stage would be fixing the problem case-by-case.  That is beginning to happen, by placing bishops from the United States in charge of the investigation in Ireland. 

The fifth stage would be dealing with the problem globally, rather than one-by-one.  One sign of that stage would be if and when there is a resignation of Cardinal Bernard Law, who left for the Vatican, thereby saving himself from possible prosecution in the United States.  His promotion in the Vatican is an abomination of justice.  He is one of those in the final nomination process for bishops around the world 

The sixth and final stage is getting around to investigating the root causes of the sexual-abuse cover-up distress.  The United States had it right by appointing distinguished members of the laity to do the investigation.  With the Supreme Court decision that enables the lower courts to demand Church documents about the cover-up, sociologists and others are now investigating the distress.  See my comments at Reading 135, September 19, 2010.  The Church, however, is resisting, rather than taking advantage of the transparency-investigations to regain its lost moral authority.  Such resistance is of the same pattern that ignores social scientists or anyone not under control of the Magisterium.

But, before we get into that, what has bothered me, at least since the time of Archbishop Paul J. Hallinan of Atlanta (1962-1968),[2] is the unwillingness of the Magisterium to listen to social scientists concerning unintended consequences of liturgical changes.  My concern from that time to this is about encouraging children to have physical contact, for example by shaking hands, at the sign of peace during Mass with adult strangers.  Now, without approval, social scientists are beginning to turn their truth, justice, and due diligence attention to the Magisterium.

In the readings for today, Amos rails against the rich and powerful.  As standard practice, the hierarchy flouts such monarchial wealth and power.  Psalm 146:7 is about securing justice for the oppressed, for example, victims of the cover-up.  1 Timothy 6:14-15 proclaims our Lord Jesus Christ … the blessed and only ruler.” 

2 Corinthians 8:90 notes “that by his [Jesus’] poverty you might become rich.”  Finally, Luke 16:19 begins with, “There was a rich man who dressed in purple garments and fine linen,” reminding the Faithful of how the hierarchy appears in the jealous fullness of its splendor.  These readings, in other words, are about getting at the root causes of the sexual-abuse cover-ups.



Annotated Bibliography

Material above the double line draws from material below the double line.  Those uninterested in scholarly and tangential details should stop reading here.  If they do, however, they may miss some interesting details.


Amos 6:1a, 4-7

Amos 6:1-2

Aaron Schart, review of Tchavdar S. Hadjien, The Composition and Redaction of the Book of Amos[3]

Hadjien places this passage before 722 B.C., occurring in the next to the final redaction or editing.


Amos 6:4-6

Paul Lawrence, The IVP Atlas of Bible History[4]

Lawrence writes, “Splendid ivory carvings and large buildings found at the Israelite capital Samaria substantiate this prosperity archaeologically.”


Psalm 146:7, 8-9, 9-10 (1b)

This Psalm is available for funerals, one of the “Second Psalms” for Morning Prayer.[5]


1 Timothy 6:11-16

Different languages perceive reality differently.  The ancient Greeks used pronouns for emphasis.  Translating this emphasis from the original Greek into English is an object of the highlighting on the last page of the hard copy, not found on the web site.  The purpose of the highlighting is to transfer the Greek emphasis on personal pronouns into the English translation.  Emphasized pronouns are highlighted in blue; intense pronouns in red.  Words marked in orange are difficult to resolve because of differences in the original manuscripts. 

Words marked on the last letter before punctuation with a vertical line, rather than fully highlighted, indicate places where the English translation lacks a pronoun corresponding to a pronoun in the Greek. 

Anyone wanting a copy of the highlighted verses, please contact me at  Thank you.

There are only three emphasized words in the Greek:  verse 13 charge you [you] is a difficult word in the manuscripts] before God, who gives life to all things and verse 14, our Lord Jesus Christ.  The you in verse 13 is not marked as difficult in the highlighted verses.


cf. 2 Corinthians 8:9


Luke 16:19-31

Twenty of the pronouns are highlighted in the Gospel. 


In verse 31, the Greek has Abraham said to him; rather than Abraham said, as in the Lectionary.


Rembert G. Weakland, O.S.B. (1927- ), the disgraced archbishop of Milwaukee, uses a passage from Lazarus to share his soul.


After the apology and penitential service on the evening of May 31 [2002], my first reaction was to creep into myself and remain there as in a cocoon, to hide away in some forgotten hermitage till Christ, in his safe and secure arms, would come to carry me, like Lazarus, across the barriers of death and place me in his Father’s bosom (Luke 16:19-31).  Shame was the best word to describe my feelings.  I felt anxious in venturing out in public, fearing everyone would look at me, as if I wore a scarlet letter.  I knew this sense of shame could foster a paralysis, so I did my best to move beyond it.  Certain convictions helped me do that.[6]


Luke 16:19-31

Tony Chartrand-Burke, review of Thomas L. Brodie, The Birthing of the New Testament: The Intertextual Development of the New Testament Writings[7]

Chartrand-Burke reports that Brodie does good work paralleling the New Testament with other literature.  The political problem among scholars is their focus on historicity, rather than literary parallels.


Luke 16:19-31

Garwood P. Anderson, "Seeking and Saving What Might Have Been Lost: Luke's Restoration of an Enigmatic Parable Tradition"[8]

Anderson argues that Luke adds pithy sayings to the original parables.  Anderson also observes that Luke aims the parable about Lazarus at the rich and the powerful.  Anderson insists that Luke is unimpressed with what the rich and powerful have to offer.  One wonders whether Luke would be similarly unimpressed with the Church hierarchy in the Twenty-first Century.


Luke 16:19-31

Daniel G. Groody, C.S.C., “Crossing the Divide:  Foundations of a Theology of Migration and Refugees”[9]

Groody argues that crossing the divide in the Lazarus story is like migrating across borders in contemporary life.  How the Faithful manage those crossings will determine their fate for all eternity.



Luke 16:19-31

Robert F. O’Toole, S.J., review of Mihamm Kim-Rauchholz, Umkehr bei Lukas:  Zu Wesen and Bedeutung der Metanoia in der Theologie des dritten Evangelisten[10]

Kim-Rauchholz moves from the need for repentance in the Lazarus-rich-man parable to argue that salvation is an entirely free gift from God.  In this, she suits mainstream Christianity.  O’Toole reports that her study has limited value.  O’Toole writes, “More serious is K.-R.’s reading of Paul’s understanding of salvation as centered on Jesus’ death and resurrection into Lucan thought (pp. 169, 1998), for Luke rather holds that the whole of Jesus’ life is salvific.”


Luke 16:21

Fernando Uribe, “Nature in the Sermons of Saint Anthony,” Edward Hagman, O.F.M. Cap.  (tr.)[11]

Saint Anthony does more with Sacred Scripture than use its literal meaning.  Anthony moves from the dogs licking sores to preachers healing the wounded souls of the faithful.


Luke 16:23-24

Edward F. Siegman, C.PP.S, "Teaching in Parables: (Mk 4:10-12; Lk 8:9-10; Mt 13:10-15)"[12]


Go to 130929, i.e. Reading 138C for 2013.


Luke 16:23

William Bales, “The Descent of Christ in Ephesians 4:9” [13]

Bales contrasts the Hades of the rich man with the bosom of Abraham.  Both are dead.  Lazarus needs to rise from the dead, if he is to return to life.


Luke 1:25

Basil S. Davis, "Severianus of Gabala and Galatians 6:6-10"[14]

Severianus of Gabala, who died in 408, is one of the Fathers of the Church.  Severianus of Gabala points out that agape, as used with the rich man in this passage, includes material things.



For more on sources see the Appendix file.  Personal Notes are on the web site at

[1] A. W. Richard Sipe, “Scandal vs. crisis; PR vs. raw data,”  accessed July 13, 2010.


[2]  accessed July 15, 2010.


[3] the Catholic Biblical Quarterly, Vol. 72, No. (April 2010) 352.


[4] Downers Grove, Illinois, InterVarsity Press, 2006, 83.


[5] N.a., International Commission on English in the Liturgy: A Joint Commission of Catholic Bishops’ Conferences, The Roman Ritual: Revised by Decree of the Second Vatican Ecumenical Council and published by Authority of Pope Paul IV: Order of Christian Funerals: Including Appendix 2: Cremation: Approved for use in the Dioceses of the United States of America by the National Conference of Catholic Bishops and Confirmed by the Apostolic See (New Jersey: Catholic Book Publishing Co., 1998) 307.


[6] Rembert G. Weakland, OSB, A Pilgrim in a Pilgrim Church:  Memoirs of a Catholic Archbishop (Grand Rapids, Michigan: William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, 2009) 15-16.


[7] the Catholic Biblical Quarterly, Vol. 68, No. 4 (April 2006) 756.


[8] the Catholic Biblical Quarterly, Vol. 70, No. 4 (April 2008) 737-738.


[9] Theological Studies , Vol. 70, No. 3 (September 2009) 663.


[10] the Catholic Biblical Quarterly, Vol. 72, No. 2 (April 2010) 381.


[11] Greyfriars Review  Vol. 18, No. 1 (2004) 66.


[12] the Catholic Biblical Quarterly, Vol. 23, No. 2 (April 1961) 170.


[13] the Catholic Biblical Quarterly, Vol. 72, No. 2 (April 2010) 87, 99.


[14] the Catholic Biblical Quarterly, Vol. 69, No. 2 (April 2007) 296.