Sunday September 29th

Who is on Our Doorstep?

In reading this Sunday’s Gospel about the rich man and Lazarus I was reminded of another story I read about a man who, when going to his office everyday, noticed a ragged looking child sitting outside the building begging. This irritated the man who asked God everyday why God did not do something about this. One day he heard God’s answer: “I did do something, I created you!”
I do not know if this man acted on God’s message or not. We do know that the rich man in the Gospel was enjoying his wealth and paid no attention to those suffering and perhaps did not even know that Lazarus was on his doorstep.

Are we aware of who is on our doorstep? Or do we see them and act like we didn’t, and really wish we hadn’t seen those suffering?  We need to also heed the caution that Amos gave the chosen people in the First Reading. Amos cautioned the people against a false sense of security. That if they think God expects nothing more of them because they are the chosen people, they are mistaken and this complacency can lead to ruin.

That is exactly what happened to the rich man for when he died he was sent to the “netherworld where he was tormented”. Lazarus died at the same time but was taken by the “angels to the bosom of Abraham”. When the rich man begged Father Abraham to warn his five brothers, Abraham answered: “They have Moses and the prophets, let them listen to them.”

Who or what has God placed in our path to warn us – the beatitudes, the commandments, the Social Justice Principles, modern day prophets, and those suffering – God places these in our path to warn us to notice injustices. We are challenged by the reality that it is hard to be giving in a society where having is deemed more important.

Sr. Marge Wissman, OSF
FAN Board Member

Suggested action:
Reflect often on God’s reply to the office worker: “I did do something, I created you.” Does God say that to us and do we hear it?

Suggested petitions:  
That we may always be aware of all the messengers and messages of grace God sends us often, we pray…
That we may not recognize too late that we did not hear God’s message, we pray…

Prayer: (Quote from Martin Luther King Jr.)  

“We will have to repent in this generation, not merely for the hateful words and actions of the bad people, but for the appalling silence of the good people. Human progress never rolls in on wheels of inevitability; it comes through the tireless efforts of all willing to be co-workers with God, and without this hard work, time itself becomes an ally of the forces of social stagnation. We must use time creatively, in the knowledge that the time is always ripe to do right.”

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