Today’s Thoughts: Today we have a very familiar story in our Gospel, the story of the rich man and the poor man Lazarus. This story in Luke’s Gospel is part of a theme in Luke that is referred to in Luke as the “great reversal.” Meaning that a sign of the kingdom is the rise of the lowly and the fall of the mighty. We find this throughout Luke – Mary’s Magnificat, Luke’s version of the beatitudes both focus on God’s kingdom turn the world upside down and our story today fits right into this theme.
As we reflect on the story, we might wonder who is the central figure of the story, the rich man or Lazarus? Well a cast could be made for either or both together, however from my perspective the story focus on neither. The challenge or question of our Gospel today is are we aware of the people and things around us? Do we pause to take note of the people that enter out life each day? Do we bother to see them?
I ran across a story by a college student. She had a pop quiz in one of her classes. She was prepared except for the las question of the quiz. What is the name of the woman who sweeps the floors in this building? The young woman knew who the question was directed at. She had seen her often – tall, dark hair perhaps in her 50’s. However, she could not answer the question. Some of the other students in the protested the question. Was this question going to counter toward our grade? The professor responded, “Absolutely! In your careers you will meet many people. All of them are significant! They all deserve your attention and care, even if all you can do is smile and say hello.”
The problem for the rich man is not that he is rich. It is that he fails to recognize someone right in front of him. Even the dogs in the story are more caring of Lazarus than the rich man. He does nothing to hurt, degrade, make fun of Lazarus. His sin is ignoring Lazarus.
Do we look around in our life? Do we see others who may need a kind word or gesture? Remember in the Kingdom of God the lowly will be first and the mighty will be last!
Have a blessed Sunday everyone.
Fr. Paul R. Fagan, C.P. "Preacher on the Run"
Just a few thoughts to help you on your journey through life...let me know from time to time what you think...