May the Lord give you grace and peace to be compassionate in the Holy Spirit. It IS 09TH March 2023.
We reflect on Jeremiah 17:5-10; and the Gospel from Luke 16:19-31.
Is it a blessing to be poor? Yes. Because God knows every poor person by name. Lazarus is the only name given to anyone in Jesus’ parables; it means El-azar,’- God has helped.’
There is a poor Lazarus in our inner being, family, community and in workplaces sitting and begging for mercy and charity. When we offer something to the poor, do we ask for their name? How do we treat them?
“We have to reckon seriously with the possibility that the Lazarus of our day is the very one in whom Jesus, the crucified Lord, is present.” Says Alan Brehm
It is not a sin to be a rich person. The rich man in the parable did no wrong except being indifferent to poor Lazarus. Eating on gold plates and washing our hands in gold washbasins cannot take us near God or Heaven when it has shut the doors of compassion and love towards the poor. During this time of Lent and thereafter, what are the riches we can share with others? The priorities are to be changed as God values and cherish what we may have come to take for granted. The parable of Lazarus and the rich man invites us to be considerate of the need of the poor around us. Closing our eyes to the poor means being self-centred, greedy, and insensitive.
A master wanted to teach a lesson to a disciple who was obsessed with a materialistic mindset. He called him to his office and asked him to look out the window and asked what he was seeing. He said that he saw poor people in the slum. Then he gave him a mirror in his hand and asked what he saw. He said he saw himself. Then the master looked into the eyes of his disciple and said: “See, what has happened to you? When a little silver comes between you and the world, you see only yourself?”
When charity is blindfolded by our priorities, our sensitivity towards the poor is sacrificed.
A global economic disaster and the inequality between the rich and the poor are widening day by day, especially during this pandemic. The rich man thought of his brothers, not the poor Lazarus. Seeing the plight of the poor and doing nothing about it was the sin of the rich man.
“I the Lord test the mind and search the heart, to give to all according to their ways, according to the fruit of their doings.” (Jer.17:10). Trusting in God like Lazarus saves our life.
What are we going to do in improving the lives of the poor around us?
The way we make the other feel heaven or hell on earth reserves place accordingly. Do people feel heavenly or hell in knowing, loving, and living with us?
May the Lord bless us to be good to the poor around us to be near God. Have a lovely day. God bless you.