Sunday, September 25, 2022

Lazarus at our Gate

“Lying at the rich man’s gate was a poor man named Lazarus covered with sores.” 

Luke 16:20

Is there a Lazarus at our gate? 

Many of us live our lives with no thought of heaven and hell, angels or devils. We forget about all that, in the busyness, the stress of everyday life. We may get reminded if we go to mass or a prayer meeting, if we’re paying attention, and not allowing our mind to wander around. 

Here we have Jesus telling a story to the Pharisees. There is a very rich man who is UNNAMED, he says. Lying at his door is Lazarus, a poor man covered with sores that the dogs would lick. When Lazarus died, he was carried away by angels to heaven. When the rich man died, he went straight to hell. What was his sin? Jesus did not say he stole, he lied, he cheated, he murdered, he committed adultery. What sent him to hell? The unnamed rich man ignored Lazarus at his doorstep. He went about his life wearing fine garments and eating good food and did not bother to help Lazarus. 

When I ignore the needs of others around me, I am that rich man who is nameless in Jesus’ eyes. In His reckoning, He does not know me, even if the world gives me plenty of awards and citations. Even if I am powerful and rich and famous, Jesus will say, “I do not know you.”

“I never knew you. Depart from Me,” Jesus said clearly in Matthew 7:21-23. “Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord’, shall enter the Kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven.” Let us make sure Jesus knows our name, by opening our eyes to see the world around us, paying attention to the needs and the cries of the poor, the sick, the hungry, the ones in prison. When we help them, let us make sure to ask their names. After all, Jesus knows and loves them.

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:^) Patsy