September 29, 2013: 26th Sunday in Ordinary Time
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 named Lazarus, covered with sores,who would gladly have eaten his fill of the scraps that fell from the rich man’s table.
Dogs even used to come and lick his sores.
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,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.
Moreover, between us and you a great chasm is established to prevent anyone from crossing who might wish to go from our side to yours or from your side to ours.’
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.'” (Luke 16:19-31)
Did you know that 19 thousand children die every day of hunger and easily preventable disease? That means 20 children die a minute. Think about that. Why aren’t there newspaper headlines or reports on TV news? What does it take to change this? You may have seen a bumper sticker that says: “Think Globally, Act Locally.” Thinking globally would mean we keep those children in mind, not like Lazarus in this story who walks by the beggar right outside his door. In the story Jesus tells, the beggar is local.
In every area there are food pantries and shelters where you could meet some hungry children. Children need help.
There are other kinds of hungers right in our own homes. Overworked parents may need to hear “Thank you.” A younger sibling may feel left out. Classmates may be using drugs to feed a deep hunger. Ask Jesus what he thinks. Ask what you can do.
The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) is working with many people around the world to bring the number of preventable deaths of children to ZERO. Here’s a link so you can read more about the work toward this goal: www.unicefusa.org/work/ You may think they are moving too slowly. Can you tell other kids at school about this?