Today’s Thoughts: Well, our scriptures today continue the theme that has been with us for the last few days; it is the theme of looking beyond ourselves. We have in the Gospel today the famous story of the rich man and Lazarus the poor man who sits at the rich man door. Lazarus is covered in sores. At first glance we might say that it is the rich man’s wealth that is the problem, and I am sure that many preachers have taken that approach in preaching about this Gospel. However, at closer inspection, it is not wealth that is the problem it is the rich man's way of life, it is how he lives. It is how he uses his wealth. He fails to see Lazarus at his door and if he does see him, he ignores him.
In the Gospels when Jesus talks about wealth it is never to condemn the person just because they have wealth it is always about what we do with it. Do we hoard it? Do we only care for ourselves? Or do we see the world and the needs of the world? Do we let our wealth work for the betterment of others? Do we help those in need with our wealth? This not only pertains to money and possessions, it is also about the gifts and talents that we have that can not only help us but others. Once again like the last few days this is about service, it is about being humble because all that we have comes from God and needs to be shared!
In the first reading from Jeremiah, we are reminded that one of the important values of our life is trust, specifically trust in God. This value can help with the above challenge of service. If we trust in God, if we make God part of our life then our riches, our gifts, our talents, our resources are much easier to share, because we know that God is with us.
Our challenge is to think outside the box. Conventional wisdom says store up treasures for ourselves, make sure our life is comfortable, eat, drink, rest, be merry. But as people of faith God demands our lives. We are to be disciples, we are to be servants, we are to make what we have work for the good of others. We are to be people whose trust and hope is in God. We are to be rich in what matters to God. Remember "the Lord, alone probes the mind and tests the heart, and rewards everyone according to her or his ways, according to the merits of her or his deeds." Let us be people who trust and hope in God. Let us be people rich in the presence of God!
Have a holy and blessed Thursday 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...