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Imagining the Lectionary: There was a rich man (Proper 21Yr C / Nineteenth Sunday after Pentecost Yr C)

Reflection accompanying images “There was a rich man - Clock sculpture Manchester peoples history museum 2 - Clock sculpture Manchester peoples history museum 3 - Enough food for everyone - G8 1, G8 2, G8 3, G8 4, G8 5, and G8 6 ”  (There was a rich man with no-text)

In a globalised world under pressure solidarity is as much an ecological necessity as it is an economic imperative. Beyond such secular pragmatism, however, first and foremost compassionate solidarity is a precept of faith. Right outside the gate of our personal wellbeing, just the other side of our comfort zone, the Bible presents us with the plight of suffering, needy and oppressed humanity. Scripture makes it as clear as can be that our lives are meshed together in a dynamic and all-inclusive network of obligation and responsibility. Our fates are indivisibly intertwined by bonds of divine grace, so that being equal in the sight of God, our vocation is to challenge the cruelties of injustice which separate us from each other. It is these freeing truths which Jesus embodies so radically and which he calls us to make our own.  As ever his teaching brings this all down to earth with an illustration from everyday life that everyone can recognise and enter into. The insidious premise he attacks and undermines as being in any way acceptable or justifiable is the separatist tendency which leads our thinking towards us and them, to those inside and those outside or the wealthy few versus the impoverished many, so often wrapped up in mutual suspicion and delivered on a platter of social intolerance.


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