Amos 6.1a, 4-7 Psalm 146 1 Tim 6. 11 – 16 Luke 16.19 - 31
In the latter chapters of the Gospel of Luke, Jesus’ journey is nearing its end and Luke has Jesus telling strong, challenging parables and stories - some of his last words before his Entry into Jerusalem. Today, Jesus tells the Pharisees about two men who have very different lives. He first speaks of a rich man who dresses in fine linen and dines sumptuously every day. He seems to have a plush life but – he doesn’t even have a name!
Lying at his door is a poor man who does have a name, Lazarus. He is starving and longs for the scraps from the table that’s set every day for the rich man. His body is covered with sores so badly that the dogs lick them.
and THE RICH MAN HAD NEVER EVEN SEEN HIM
But when Lazarus dies, he is carried to the bosom of Abraham where he lives in the fullness of a joy-filled life as promised to the children of Abraham.
Bluntly, Jesus says the rich man “died and was buried.” Continuing his normal self-centered ways, he asks Abraham to send Lazarus to soothe his suffering – the man who never even saw Lazarus now wants him. The chasm that the rich man created during his life between himself and Lazarus by not even seeing him, cannot be crossed now by himself or his brothers. Abraham points out that the rich man and his brothers haven’t seen all the signs that were given to them during their lives and no sign will matter now. The rich man never saw the sign that was at his door – Lazarus.
The story Jesus gives us today isn’t about being rich or poor. It’s about seeing.
Whom do I see during my day – on a street corner as I drive by,
that person who needs help crossing the street,
the woman without gloves on a bitter cold day,
the child all alone on the playground or in the cafeteria?
the neighbor who lost a loved one last week, a month ago…
Whom do I see when I read the paper or watch the news?
Do I truly see the people I live with or work with every day?
Where did I meet/ see Jesus today?
-Sr. Marian Baumler, SSMN
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