20160925 - Twenty-sixth Sunday in Ordinary Time

posted Sep 19, 2016, 10:09 PM by Domain Admin   [ updated Sep 5, 2017, 10:11 PM ]

Luke 16:19-31

Samantha's Reflection

Lazarus laid at the rich man's door - not on the sidewalk, around the block, or down the street, but at his door, a place that the rich man likely passed everyday to leave or enter his house. But the rich man didn't pay attention to Lazarus and his desperate need for food, clothing, warmth, and shelter.

We see forms of Lazarus today on street medians asking for money, homeless people wheeling around their belongings, or struggling individuals looking into recycling bins to be able to trade cans and bottles in for money. But there are also the not so obvious Lazaruses: the student eating alone during lunch, the quiet girl in class who is depressed but has no one to confide in, or the coworker who everyone talks about because he has a known reputation to be annoying.

In each of these cases the individual is dismissed, ignored, or isolated because the people around them don't have the time, energy, or even desire to care. It's easy to carry on with our daily routines and to continue on with what we're comfortable with.

I think this Gospel is a good reminder to stop and pay attention to the needs of the people who surround us everyday. I feel that this Gospel challenges us to reach out to those in need of basic necessities (food, money, shelter) but to also be aware of others who may be in need of spiritual necessities - hope, love, peace, and joy - and to try and find a way where we can somehow provide that. Whether we do this by simply recognizing their presence with a greeting, having a conversation with them, or praying for them, this Gospel calls us to respond to those in need.

Jerico's Reflection

This weekend's reading talk about the way two men had lived and died. One of the men, Lazarus, lived a "bad" life having been described as someone who would have been well off eating the scraps of food from the Rich man. The other person was the Rich man who lived a lavish life. Both men had died and had encountered Abraham. The rich man asked for Abraham to have pity on him and Abraham in turn basically said, "Hey, look at the life you lived compared to Lazarus... although you lived your life, you didn't even recognize those who were tormented and lived a "bad" life. The rich man in turn asked Abraham to warn the others about his outcome so that they wouldn't have to go through the same torment he is experiencing now.

To me this reading at face value seems to sound a little harsh. Be good to each other or else... but I feel like there is more to the meaning. I think that Jesus is trying to tell us that each of us sometimes live a life that blinds us to see things that happen around us like injustices or poverty. This reading to me is calling each of us to be merciful to others and to not be so tunnel visioned but to widen our sight to see what is going on around us. I think God understand that sometimes our lifestyle blinds us. And I admit, it does! We unconsciously do not see a lot of things around us. Sometimes our brains are conditioned to treat certain situations a certain way. For example, how many times do we pretend that people who are homeless do not exist when they are asking for money on the streets. Or we tend to just keep away from impoverished areas, because they are "bad/unsafe" areas. All these thoughts and feelings are constructed from what we see in the media and sometimes from the lifestyle that we live. Even in our schools, how many times do we laugh or make fun of the kid or peer who tends to act "weird" (or what people don't consider as normal) or the people who sit alone during lunch.

I believe that this reading is a challenge to all of us. Its asking us to look around. Put ourselves in their shoes and ask. How would we feel to be outcast, turned away from and just messed around with. God doesn't make mistakes when he makes people. I think we each have the ability to see past constructed prejudices and judgements and see people for who they truly are. Each of us are a gift that should be celebrated. We each have a need that can be filled by the people we encounter in our lives, no matter who they are or where they came from. Just like how the rich man could have provided food for Lazarus, Lazarus could have provided the rich man with an opportunity to join him with Abraham.

I pray that this reading gives us an opportunity to look at our own lives and to see the gifts we can share with others. Sometimes we may feel that we don't have much to give, but we really do! God doesn't make mistakes, and God won't start with you!

Opportunities are all around us and I truly believe that answers to our prayers come in the form of opportunities.

Peace, Love and Blessings!

Michelle's Reflection

In the Gospel we are told the parable of a rich man and Lazarus. The rich man lived in extreme luxury while Lazarus, a poor man, would have, “gladly eaten his fill of the scraps / that fell from the rich man’s table.” Jesus says that Lazarus was at the rich man’s door, however, the rich man never offers him any food, clothes, or even a bed to sleep in. The rich man continues to ignore Lazarus and is blinded by his material riches.

Eventually, Lazarus and the rich man die. While Lazarus is carried away to the “bosom of Abraham,” the rich man suffers in torment and is separated from God.

If there was one word I would use to describe the rich man it would be indifferent. He was not interested or concerned for Lazarus. Perhaps he thought look, here is Lazarus, a poor man--destitute, useless, and indigent. Maybe the rich man didn’t believe Lazarus deserved his luxuries. His riches. His blessings. What he failed to see is that Lazarus was a child of God no matter how poor he was. The rich man’s materialistic possessions didn’t bring him closer to God but pushed him further away from Him.

The Gospel illustrates God’s love for the poor and as living disciples of Christ we too should show love and mercy to the poor, all those in need that are suffering, or individuals that just need a helping hand. We should try to live a life of richness not by materialistic luxuries but with love and care.