(Amos 6:1a, 4-7; 1 Timothy 6:11-16; Luke 16:19-31)
“Always think of yourself as everyone’s servant; look for Christ our Lord in everyone and you will then have respect and reverence for them all.”
―St. Teresa of Avila
Jesus tells a parable about a rich man who feasted every single day and Lazarus, a beggar, who lies outside the gate of the rich man’s house. In the story, both men die and end up in very different places. The poor man ends up in the bosom of Abraham, and the rich man ends up in Hades because of the sin of omission.
Imagine for a moment that you are one of the rich man’s friends. He has invited you to dinner and you are excited about the meal you will eat because you know it will be delicious. As you approach the rich man’s house, you see Lazarus lying at the gate. What do you feel as you see him? What do you do? Do you step over him, anxious to get inside to the banquet? Do you stop to talk to him? Now imagine that the rich man sees you and begins to gesture to you to hurry up and come in the house. What do you say to the rich man? What, if anything, do you say to Lazarus?
We all have people who are lying at the gate of our lives. Instead of stepping over them like the rich man did to Lazarus, we are called to use our resources, whatever they may be, to serve the poor in our lives lest we, too, be guilty of the sin of omission.
· Ask the Holy Spirit to show you ways you might be selfish with the goods that you have been given. Do you use the goods entrusted to you to help serve the needy? What is one way you might better serve the poor or a “Lazarus” in your life this week?
· St. Teresa of Calcutta said “We think sometimes that poverty is only being hungry, naked, and homeless. The poverty of being unwanted, unloved, and uncared for is the greatest poverty. We must start in our own homes to remedy this kind of poverty.” What are some ways that you have or could combat this kind of poverty?
· The rich man in the Gospel reading was solely focused on eating and living well. What are some of the things in your life that you put a lot of time and attention into? Will these things “be done away with” or are they of a lasting nature?