Have you ever noticed that this rich man never did anything wrong? He just went about his life. For whatever reason, he didn’t even notice Lazarus. Maybe he was just busy. Who knows?
And that, Jesus says, is the problem. It’s not what the rich man did. It’s what he didn’t do. Life gets busy. I know some people that work hard all day and then spend the evening driving their kids to all sorts of sports and activities. I know young people that go to school all day and then spend the evening on homework, sports, part- time jobs, or school activities.
But Lazarus lives today. He is the lonely kid at school. He is the hungry child in Africa. He is the refugee in Syria seeking a place to call home. Jesus challenges us to care for him regularly. Make it part of your “busyness,” not something you fit in when you find extra time.
Here are some tips. Ask God daily to show you the people others ignore. Read newspapers and surf the internet to learn about the problems that cause suffering in our world. Make community service trips and peace rallies part of your monthly schedule.
God has given you the power to change the world for people who suffer like Lazarus. Who’s lying outside your door? What’s one thing you do to keep your focus on people like Lazarus?
The Action: Reach out of your own little world to someone who needs some care and compassion. First of all, be observant to those around and try to be perceptive of where they may need some assistance. Give drink to one who thirsts, some food to another who hungers, and offer a kind word to someone who seems down. Connect with an organisation in your community that assists people who are living in poverty. This could be connected with your parish or some other agency that is seeking to help others. Get out and expand your circle a bit.
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The opening parable in today’s gospel (Luke 16:1-13) is linked both to the main parable in last Sunday’s gospel reading (Luke 15:1-32) and to next Sunday’s (16:19-31). Last Sunday’s prodigal son “squandered” his property and today’s steward was denounced for “being wasteful” with his master’s possessions.
The wasteful steward in today’s parable recognises that his position was at risk, and amends affairs to set up a friendly reception elsewhere, a move that won the approval of his master for its astuteness. Modern readers find this perplexing and could ask why the others who had their debts reduced would trust him with their own property should they employ him. Some suggestions are that it was normal for servants to add their own commission; it was how they were paid, and so this steward would be seen as reducing his own cut, thus as being thrifty, not as grafting.
Many parables in Luke’s gospel have complex overlapping themes, and while some are more prominent, those of these three Sundays (that is, last Sunday, today, and next Sunday) all feature the use of possessions, but each with a different orientation; last Sunday’s prodigal son consumed his goods self-indulgently, today’s steward used his master’s wastefully, and next Sunday’s rich man uses his selfishly—at which time the figure of Abraham is used, the wealthy man who used his possessions generously. Altogether they refer to a quality needed for disciples of Jesus, even if they do not always teach about it directly: the disciples of Jesus are not to be attached to possessions and need to be willing to use them for the good of others and according to the vision of the kingdom of heaven.
Rev Dr Barry Craig - Homily Help Liturgia. Twenty-Fifth Sunday in Ordinary Time Year C
In chapter 15 of Luke's Gospel, Jesus tells three parables about losing, finding, and rejoicing. The outcasts of society, the taxpayers, and the sinners approach Jesus eager to hear what he has to say. In Luke's Gospel, hearing is a sign of conversion. The Pharisees and scribes, still suspicious of Jesus, complain about him associating with sinners. So he tells them these three parables.
In the first story, the parable of The Lost Sheep, the shepherd leaves behind the 99 sheep to search for the 1 lost sheep. When he finds it, the shepherd rejoices not alone as in Matthew's version, but with friends and neighbors. In the same way, God rejoices more over 1 sinner who repents—like the outcasts who have come to hear Jesus—than over the 99 righteous like the Pharisees and scribes.
The second story, about a poor woman who will not stop searching until she finds her lost coin, makes the same point. Why are the Pharisees complaining? They should rejoice when the lost are found.
Finally we come to what is probably the most memorable parable in the Gospels, the story we know as The Prodigal Son. Just as in The Lost Sheep and The Lost Coin, this story (found only in Luke) is really about the seeker. The loving father is at the center of this parable. Even though his son runs off with his father's inheritance and squanders the money, the father waits for him, hoping for his return. Upon his son's return, the father, “full of compassion,” runs out to embrace and forgive him before the son can utter one word of repentance. At this point the rejoicing begins.
The parable does not end there. Rather, it makes one more point about the older son's reaction. This son who never left, just like the Pharisees and scribes who feel they are righteous, refuses to enter his father's house to join in the rejoicing. He has served his father. He has obeyed him. Perhaps it was not out of love. The father's response teaches us that God's care and compassion extend to the righteous and sinner alike. When we are lost, God doesn't wait for our return. He actively seeks us out. And when the lost are found, how
could we not celebrate and rejoice?
Loyola Press Sunday Connection - Twenty-Fourth Sunday in Ordinary Time Year C
Today the Annual Catholic Campaign will be conducted during all Masses around the Archdiocese of Brisbane. I invite each of you to take one of the brochures home and read about this important campaign.
The Annual Catholic Campaign combines the four previous Archdiocesan appeals to support the good works of the Church in our own community. The ministries supported are:
HAPPY FATHERS DAY
As we celebrate Father’s Day this Sunday, let us give thanks to God for all the dad’s in our parish. The grandfathers, the uncles, the brothers and cousins, in fact, all those men who provide the love of a father to us. A father is the man who is just and gentle. A person who we feel makes us stronger in ourselves. The man who provides security and confidence. Most importantly the man whom we can turn to for the tender response of one who truly understands and who is available for me. The role of a father is to give life, to protect life, to nurture life and ultimately to be the source of love.
Pope Francis says that “God’s face is that of a merciful Father who is always patient. Mercy makes the world less cold and more just. We need to understand God’s mercy well, this merciful Father who has such patience...God never tires of forgiving us, never! He is our Father. What then is the problem? The problem is that we get tired, we don’t want to but we get tired of asking forgiveness. Let us never get tired. He is the loving Father who always forgives, who has the heart of mercy for all of us. And let us also learn to be merciful with everyone.”
God love you
A Prayer for Fathers
God our Father,
We give you thanks and praise for fathers young and old.
We pray for young fathers, newly embracing their vocation; May they find courage and perseverance to balance work, family and faith in joy and sacrifice.
We pray for our own fathers around the world whose children are lost or suffering; May they know that the God of compassion walks with them in their sorrow. We pray for men who are not fathers but still mentor and guide us with fatherly love and advice.
We remember fathers, grandfather, and great grandfathers who are no longer with us but who live forever in our memory and nourish us with their love. Amen