September 25, 2016: Twenty-sixth 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)
The need for mercy and compassion in our world is very evident in today’s gospel. Lazarus asked only for scraps from the rich man’s table. Why do you think the rich man ignored him? Why did he not listen? Why did he not see the poor Lazarus outside his door? There are so many moments within our daily lives where God presents us with opportunities and graces that we perhaps do not see. We are usually too busy or too engrossed in our own agenda to listen to the Spirit’s gentle whispers. All too quickly the moment passes us by.
We all need someone, at certain times in our lives, to offer us the gift of their compassion. Who is it that you know, that may need your gentle touch this week?