Thursday of the Second Week of Lent
Reading 1 Jer 17:5-10
Gospel Lk 16:19-31
"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,"
There are times when we read this passage from scripture and come to an 'ah-ha' moment for the wrong reason; we say 'yeah the rich are gonna get theirs', but it is erroneous to believe that this man was condemned to the netherworld simply because he was rich; no, he was condemned because he was selfish and uncaring. The poor man was neither invisible nor unknown to him; he knew him well, he knew him by NAME, as we read:
"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'..."
In this age of instant communication via T.V, internet or other media, the poor, the starving, the refugee, the victims of wars and natural disasters are not invisible to us. We know who they are and where they are.
In our nation,our states, our counties, municipalities, parishes and neighborhoods Lazarus still calls, still reaches out, still yearns to be satisfied with even our scraps. How do we respond, by pretending he is invisible or with compassion? As individuals and as a nation we will be judged on our treatment of Lazarus.
Yes the rich can give more but we are all required to give even of our little 'scraps'.
Over and over the Holy Scriptures remind us of this: the 1st reading from Jeremiah ends with such a warning:
"the LORD, alone probe the mind and test the heart, To reward everyone according to his ways,according to the merit of his deeds"
Lents calls us to see Lazarus and to care for him. How will we respond? Peace.
The Season of Lent is a special time for us to slow down, look inward and make the necessary changes to truly become an Easter people.