26th Sunday in Ordinary Time - Year C
WOE TO THE COMPLACENT
After the death of Solomon about 931 B.C. the country of Israel split in two. The north kept the name ''Israel" while the south called itself "Judah" from the name of it's largest clan. In 722 Israel was conquered by invaders from Assyria (Iraq). The leaders of Judah were indifferent to this disaster. Isaiah condemned this and the excess luxury of Judah's ruling class. They lounge on ivory couches and gorge on fancy food and drinks.
BOSOM OF ABRAHAM
For the perennially starving people of the Middle East, heaven was often pictured as a lavish meal. In the Roman style of banqueting, the diners lay on flat couches with their heads facing the table.
Two or three people would recline on each couch. The place of honor was beside the host. Hence the "bosom–or side of–Abraham" meant the lap of luxury. The beggar in today's Gospel enjoys this favored position presumably because of his trust in God. The wealthy man is sometimes known as "Dives", a Latin word meaning "rich". He is in hell–- separated from heaven by a vast chasm.
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