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.’
‘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.'”
Praised to be Jesus Christ!
During the Our Father, we ask God the Father to “give us this day our daily bread.” When we ask for this intention, we not only are asking for our daily bread but those who are unable to provide for themselves and their families.
The Catechism teaches that “the presence of those who hunger because they lack bread opens up another profound meaning of this petition. The drama of hunger in the world calls Christians who pray sincerely to exercise responsibility toward their brethren, both in their personal behavior and in their solidarity with the human family (CCC 2831). Therefore, not only is our role to care for the poor, but our obligation.
The Gospel for this weekend plays out this necessity in a very dramatic way. If we do not care for those less fortunate in our own backyards, we are severely lacking in charity. If we do not look at our brothers and sisters with love, we will not be able to enter eternal life.
By our Christian call to holiness, our mission is to always look after our brothers and sisters with love so that, together, we can attain eternal life where the poor man Lazarus has proceeded us.
As always, know of my prayers before Jesus in the Most Blessed Sacrament.
+ Bishop Schlert