Scripture Reading: Luke 16:19-20
Our world is filled with so many Lazarus’ lying by our gates. The Rich Man in today’s reflection had all he ever needed for a comfortable lifestyle. He had enough for himself and his family members. But there was Lazarus lying by his gate, waiting to be fed by the crumbs that fell from the Rich Man’s table. Lazarus never had the opportunity of getting into the Rich Man’s building. So probably, he was feeding from the crumbs that fell from the rich man’s gutter into the street. The Rich Man never considered Lazarus as a human being created in God’s own image and likeness. The rich man clung to wealth that he would let no other member of the society benefit from. His wealth was meant for his family members and himself. He couldn’t share the most and the little he had. But Lazarus did. The Scripture tells us that “Even dogs came and licked the sores of Lazarus.” (Luke16:21) Lazarus died and he made heaven. The rich man with all his wealth couldn’t make heaven. While on earth, the rich man never paid Lazarus attention. He never saw Lazarus as a member of his family. But in hell, the rich man could remember who Lazarus was. The water he couldn’t offer to Lazarus while on earth, he requested in hell. He never pitied Lazarus while on earth, but now he sought for mercy. How could he have obtained mercy when while on earth, he was never merciful himself? The rich man had the opportunity to show love but he refused to show it.
Beloved, around you are so many Lazarus’ who are looking up to you to be shown love. The Jesus we seek can be found in our fellow human beings. The letter to the Hebrews says, “Continue to love each other like brothers and remember always to welcome strangers, for by doing this, some people have entertained angels without knowing it.” (Hebrews13:2). In Deut.15:7 the Scripture says, “Is there anyone poor among you, one of your brothers, in any town of yours in the country which Yahweh your God is giving you? Do not harden your heart or close your hand against that poor brother of yours, but be open handed with him and lend him enough for his needs.” And in verse 11, it continues that, “Of course, there will never cease to be poor people in the country, and that is why I am giving you this command: always be open handed with your brother, and with anyone in your country who is needy and poor.” Hear this: “Blessed is anyone who cares for the poor and the weak; in time of trouble, the Lord rescues him. (Ps.41:1)
O child of God, do you know that the Lazarus around you is Jesus Christ whom you have been longing to meet. Be compassionate to the people you meet around you. They are the Jesus whom you seek. Remember the disciples on their way to Emmaus. They never knew they were walking with Jesus. But Jesus was with them. The Lazarus in our world are the true face of Jesus. St Paul encourages that we help our brothers in the following words: “Let us give thanks to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the merciful Father, the God from whom all help comes! He helps us in all our troubles, so that we are able to help those who have all kinds of troubles, using the same help that we ourselves have received from God.” (2 Cor. 1:3-4) Jesus is present everywhere. Jesus in the Gospel of St. Matthew says those who have shown love and being charitable to the members of the society would inherit the kingdom of God. “Then the king would say to those on His right hand side, ‘Come, you whom my Father has blessed, take as your heritage the kingdom prepared for you since the foundation of the world. For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you made me welcome, lacking clothes and you clothed me, sick and you visited me, in prison and you came to see me.’” (Mt.25:31-46) Brethren, “Our love must not be just words or mere talk, but something active and genuine.” (1 Jn.3:18) St James says: “If one of the brothers or one of the sisters needs clothes and has not enough food to live on, and one of you says to them, ‘I wish you well; keep yourself warm and eat plenty,’ without giving them these bare necessities of life, then what good is that? In the same way faith, if good deeds do not go with it, is quite dead.” (James 2:15-17) Dear child of God, we need to show love to those around us, for in them is the Jesus we seek daily. God bless us all.
MASS: WHITE/RED Acts 13:26-33; Ps 2:6-7.8-9.10-12a (R.7bc); Accl. Jn 14:6; Jn 14:1-6 ST. NEREUS & ACHILLEUS, M (Opt Mem) ST. PANCRAS, M (Opt Mem)
1. Thank the Lord for the graces, blessings and favours you have received from Him.
2. Plead pardon for the many times you have despised Jesus in every human you meet.
3. Pray for the grace to recognise Jesus in every individual you meet.
4. Pray for the success of the various DSD charity groups located at various parishes of the world.
Exercise: Ensure that you are part of the DSD Charity group in your area. Endeavour to be active in it.