Today’s second reading invites us to lead “a life of righteousness, piety, faith, love, patience, and meekness”, on the other hand, both the first reading and the Gospel offers us the total contrast: people accustomed to party, to enjoying life with passion and impulse, with no other reference than his/her appetite for new and more intense experiences and pleasures. I need to choose how I see God’s message for me today. Whether God is against prosperity, wealth, improvement, or God wants me to think of those values as gifts from Him, and how I can use them to help other people and to pay attention what God is telling me.
There are wealthy people who have a real care for half of the world that is malnourished. But, there are others, like the rich man in the parable, who doesn’t even notice Lazarus at his door, and who, therefore, is able to step over him without any care, keeping his self-esteem intact. And there are others again, who notice Lazarus but keep their self-esteem by throwing him a few scraps.
Which character does the story asks us to identify with? The rich man? In fact, he is given no name in the gospels. The rich man has no identity except his wealth. No, we are not being asked to see ourselves as the rich person. Lazarus, then? No, we are not been asked to lie down at the rich man’s door like Lazarus. The parable is telling us that we are the rich man’s five brothers. We have Moses and the prophets – but above all, we have Jesus – to tell us to live by a different religion, a subversive religion that ‘casts down the mighty from their thrones and exalts the lowly, that fills the hungry with good things but sends the rich away empty.’ We are not told whether the five brothers changed their lives around. Why? Because we are the five brothers, and the story isn’t over yet.
This weekend we welcome back Fr. Vince and the pilgrims — thank you for praying for our community as you visited and celebrated Mass at many churches during your pilgrimage.
Today, during the 10 a.m. Mass we will be blessing Br. James, who was professed on Aug. 31. After Mass stop by to congratulate him and enjoy a slice of cake in his honor.
Don’t forget to join us this Thursday for Transitus at 6:30 p.m. in the Mission, Friday for the Feast of St. Francis at 6:30 p.m. in Serra followed by a pot-luck reception, Saturday for the pet blessings at 10:30 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. on the Mission Grounds.
Peace and Good, Fr. Oscar