Sunday, September 25, 2016

Reflection: Luke 16:19-31

The 26th Sunday in Ordinary Time - Luke 16:19-31

Today’s Gospel is the story of Lazarus and the rich man. This is another story we are very familiar with. Lazarus is a poor man whose body was covered with sores. Lazarus begged right outside the door of a rich man’s house. The rich man always dressed in fine clothing and ate only the finest food. And even though Lazarus was present outside the rich man’s house, day in and day out, the rich man ignored Lazarus.

These two men died within a few days of each other. When Lazarus died, he was immediately taken to heaven by the angels to Abraham’s bosom. Shortly after this, the rich man also died and was buried. The rich man, however, did not go the heaven. Rather he went to the netherworld, where he suffered great torment. By some means, the rich man was able to see Abraham in heaven and surprisingly he saw the poor man at Abraham’s side. The rich man was stunned! How could this be? Shouldn’t he be the one at Abraham’s side?

The rich man called out to Abraham and begged him to send Lazarus to him with some water. He was suffering great torment. However, Abraham reminded the rich man that he had received many gifts and graces while he was on earth while Lazarus suffered. Now however, their positions were reversed: Lazarus was receiving many graces and much comfort while the rich man was the one in torment. Lazarus was reaping the gifts and blessings that had come from living a good life, while the rich man was reaping the results of the selfish choices he had made in his life.

Today may be a good time to ask ourselves: what are we sowing in our daily lives? Is it love, care, concern, peace, joy, and generosity? Or is it negativity, self-centeredness, greed, and criticism? We all will reap what we sow. Today (and tomorrow) what will we choose to sow?

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