There was a rich man and there was a poor man. The poor man, Lazarus, is lying at the door of the rich man. He would have been happy for any kind of help, even the scraps that fell from the rich man’s table. Why didn’t the rich man help?
When the rich man dies and is in torment he cries out to Abraham, “Have pity on me.” And yet pity was something that he was never able to show when it would have taken little or no effort. What prevented him from showing pity?
What prevents us from helping? What prevents us from showing pity? There can be so many reasons, so many excuses. And the poor still lie outside our doors.
I read something about this parable that never struck me before. Fr. James Smith made the comment that the poor man never speaks in this story. He thinks it is because the poor man is used to keeping quiet, because no one ever listened to him (Celebration).
When we listen to people we can give them a voice. Have you ever had the experience of visiting someone who is homebound and has no family? They can go on and on telling their stories. They just need someone who will allow them to be heard. All it takes is a little time and a little effort and some compassion. What it requires is for us to move the focus from ourselves to another.
When we respond with compassion we can voice to someone in need. So what stops us?
Thanks to everyone who wished me a happy birthday. Thanks for the cards and gifts. I do appreciate them.
For all who received the Sacrament of the Sick this weekend know that you continue to be in our prayers. If there is ever a time you need this sacrament for strength and healing, please let me know.
Have a great week.