Gospel: (Luke 16:19-31)
Jesus said to the Pharisees: “There was a rich man who dressed in purple garments and fine linen and dined sumptuously each day. And lying at his door was a poor man Lazarus, covered with sores, who would gladly have eaten his fill of the scraps that fell from the rich man’s table. When the poor man died, he was carried away by angels to the bosom of Abraham. The rich man died and was buried, and from the netherworld, where he was in torment, he raised his eyes and saw Abraham far off and Lazarus at his side. 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.’ Abraham replied, ‘My child, remember that you received what was good during your lifetime while Lazarus likewise received what was bad; but now he is comforted here whereas you are tormented. He said, ‘Then I beg you, father, send him to my father’s house, for I have five brothers, so that he may warn them, lest they too come to this place of torment.’ But Abraham replied, ‘They have Moses and the prophets. Let them listen to them.’ He said, ‘Oh no, father Abraham, but if someone from the dead goes to them, they will repent.’ Then Abraham said, ‘If they will not listen to Moses and the prophets, neither will they be persuaded if someone should rise from the dead.”
The basic commandment is to love God and neighbor. There is such a scriptural insistence on taking care of the poor and needy because when all have their fill of the good gifts of God it is a sign of God’s care and presence, the in-breaking of God’s reign where no one will be in need. When we neglect to care for those in need we actually delay the coming of God’s kingdom. Listening to God’s word, has a double edge: we not only learn to live but also further God’s kingdom when we respond appropriately to what we hear. Listening is part of the decisiveness of discipleship. (Living Liturgy, p.216)
“As followers of St. Vincent, we profess to have both an eye and a heart for the suffering poor. We profess and proclaim to show the effective compassion of Jesus Christ towards those who are Lazarus in today’s world. To have an eye and a heart of compassion for the poor is a grace of Jesus Christ. We cannot turn on the compassion of Jesus, as we would water from a tap. We must humbly ask that grace of compassion from Jesus Christ.” (McCullen, Deep Down Things, p. 297)
Discussion: (Share your thoughts after a moment of silence)
What challenges do you hear in this Gospel ?
Lord, give us the grace of compassion for the “Lazarus” in our life,
-so that we may suffer with those who suffer.
Lord, give us the grace to hear the cries of the poor,
-so that we may be a servant of the most oppressed.