Our Gospel reading today, the rich man who is dining sumptuously while the beggar Lazarus lies unnoticed at his door, is a very challenging one for those of us who have been blessed with so much. We can focus almost entirely on not doing anything wrong and going to church, missing the beggars at our doors.
There is no indication that the rich man did anything wrong to acquire his wealth. He was not rude to Lazarus. On the positive side, he was concerned for his brothers. His fault was that he ignored Lazarus at his door. Perhaps we can say that his glass was so full of himself, that there was no room for anything else. As a result, a big chasm opened up between the rich man and Lazarus, a chasm that couldn’t be breached even after death, because the rich man CONTINUED to think only of himself and his family, viewing Lazarus as an “errand boy” to bring him water and take messages to his brothers.
The message to us is to watch for “Lazarus,” who could be at our door. There are the obvious needs of food and drink. But could there be some people at our door who need attention? Visits? Understanding? Forgiveness? If we continually ignore those at our doors, those doors turn into chasms, chasms that can’t be breached.
I invite us to reflect this week on how good we do at recognizing and responding to any Lazarus at our door. We will never be perfect, but we need to be growing, making sure there is no wide, unbreachable chasm. In other words, how generous, loving, and kind are we to those at our door, those whose life situation makes demands on us?
Church sign of the week:
Good preparation for tomorrow includes good use of today.