Saint Matthew's Church, Voorheesville New York Home   |   Contact   |   Directions

25 Mountainview Street
Voorheesville, New York 12186
Phone (518) 765-2805
Fax (518) 765-3701

Our Mission Statement
Our Mission Statement

Pastor's weekly message

Those of us of a certain age will remember either fondly or critically President Lyndon Johnson's "war on poverty" which he inaugurated in January of 1964. We are 52 years into that war and by most accounts making little headway. But whether you think that the government should or even could end poverty certainly the Bible demands our concern for and action on behalf of and for the poor and those in need. If you were to excise from the Bible, both Old and New Testaments (Hebrew and Christian scriptures), the passages that talk about the poor you would have very little left to read. God seems very concerned about the poor.

Our first reading for this Sunday comes from the prophet Amos. Amos was a sheep herder and a farmer of sycamore figs. He lived in Judah, the south of Israel, but was called to prophesy in the northern kingdom. He was a foreigner called to deliver a tough message. He had to tell the wealthy of the north that their callous disregard for the poor would be their doom and destruction. Amos told them that they shall be the first to go into exile, and their wanton revelry shall be done away with.

Our Gospel for today tells the story of the rich man and Lazarus, the poor beggar who lived at the rich man's door covered with sores, who would have gladly eaten his fill of the scraps that fell from the rich man's table. Both die and are in the netherworld; the rich man now in torment and Lazarus in the bosom of Abraham. The rich man continues to want to use Lazarus, first to slake his own thirst and suffering and then to send a message to his five brothers about what awaits them if they don't reform. The rich man doesn't seem to have learned much even in the netherworld! But the saddest line for me in this passage is the final one where Abraham tells the rich man If they will not listen to Moses and the prophets, neither will they be persuaded if someone should rise from the dead.

The poor are not some lower class of human being or some lesser species than us who have been so blessed. They are us. The first step in fighting any war against poverty that demeans and destroys lives is to recognize the poor all around us and give them the dignity of recognizing that they are deserving of so much more. If we recognize Lazarus at our doorstep, perhaps we will begin to make real headway in this perpetual war on poverty.

Fr. Chris

Mass Schedule
Saturday Vigil at 5:00 PM
Sunday at 8:30 and 10:30 AM
Tues, Wed, and Fri at 8:30 AM
Rosary and Novena
Monday at 6:30 PM
(September through May)
Saturday at 4:00 PM
(or by appointment)
Office Hours
Monday - Friday 9 AM to 3 PM