Sep 29 2019 Reflection
Sunday 29 September 2019
First Reading: AM 6:1A, 4-7
Praise the Lord, my soul!
PS 146:7, 8-9, 9-10
Second Reading: 1 TM 6:11-16
Gospel Reading: LK 16:19-31
Today’s Note: Twenty-Sixth Sunday in Ordinary Time
Jesus said to the Pharisees:
“There was a rich man who dressed in purple garments and fine linen
and dined sumptuously each day.
And lying at his door was a poor man named Lazarus, covered with sores,
who would gladly have eaten his fill of the scraps
that fell from the rich man’s table.
Dogs even used to come and lick his sores.
When the poor man died,
he was carried away by angels to the bosom of Abraham.
The rich man also died and was buried,
and from the netherworld, where he was in torment,
he raised his eyes and saw Abraham far off
and Lazarus at his side.
And he cried out, ‘Father Abraham, have pity on me.
Send Lazarus to dip the tip of his finger in water and cool my tongue,
for I am suffering torment in these flames.’
‘My child, remember that you received
what was good during your lifetime
while Lazarus likewise received what was bad;
but now he is comforted here, whereas you are tormented.
Moreover, between us and you a great chasm is established
to prevent anyone from crossing who might wish to go
from our side to yours or from your side to ours.’
He said, ‘Then I beg you, father,
send him to my father’s house, for I have five brothers,
so that he may warn them,
lest they too come to this place of torment.’
But Abraham replied, ‘They have Moses and the prophets.
Let them listen to them.’
He said, ‘Oh no, father Abraham,
but if someone from the dead goes to them, they will repent.’
Then Abraham said, ‘If they will not listen to Moses and the prophets,
neither will they be persuaded if someone should rise from the dead.'”
Lying at his door was a poor man named Lazarus. (Luke 16:20)
How many times do you think this rich man walked past Lazarus every day? Yet it’s as if the man never really saw him; he was little more than part of the “landscape.” The rich man just accepted Lazarus’ presence as a fact of life.
The rich man in Jesus’ parable dies and ends up in torment in the netherworld. But it’s not simply because he was rich. It was because he didn’t care for this other human being who was, in a way, part of his daily life.
We all know that being a Christian means caring for the less fortunate. There are so many needy people that we can feel overwhelmed. And besides, most of us aren’t policy experts with the know-how needed to lift people out of poverty. Even if we gave away all of our possessions, it would hardly make a dent.
It’s helpful, then, to remember that Jesus didn’t have some grand strategy for solving the problem of poverty either. He just reached out to people, one by one. If the rich man in Jesus’ parable had done the same thing by caring for the beggar at his door, his life might have ended much differently.
That’s where we can start too—by helping one person at a time, especially those whom we encounter as part of our daily lives. If every person did that, think about how many people would be reached!
Remember too that God wants you to help those people who may not be lacking in material goods but are still “poor.” As St. Teresa of Calcutta said, “There are many people in the world dying for a piece of bread, but there are many more dying for a little love.” Your care and presence for these people are just as important.
At Mass today, ask the Lord to open your eyes to someone who may be at your “door,” without you even realizing it. You can make a real difference!
“Jesus, show me the ‘Lazarus’ in my life who needs my help.”