A Tear for Lazarus
A man saw a worried, old woman with a Mercedes stranded on the side of the road with a flat tire. He stopped; got out of his old Toyota to offer help but he did not look safe as his appearance was poor and shabby. When the job of changing the tire was done, she asked how much he owed him for getting dirty. He smiled and said: “If you really want to pay me back, the next time you see someone who needs help, give that person the needed assistance. And think of me. I’m Brian Anderson.”
That same evening, the lady stopped by a small café. The worried waitress who took her order was eight months pregnant. When the lady had finished her meal, she paid a hundred-dollar bill with a note: “you don’t owe me anything. Somebody helped me sincerely today I’m just passing on the favor. Keep the chain of love going.” She found an additional $1,000 under the napkin. Going home, the waitress kept thinking about the lady’s kindness and how much she and her husband needed it. She hurried to tell him the good news. But he was already asleep. Kissing him, she whispered: “Now everything will be alright, I love you, Brian Anderson.”
Jesus, in today’s gospel, relate an insightful parable about Lazarus and the rich man. While this parable seems to be about money, it is really about values. It is possible to be wealthy yet enjoy God’s favor. The question is not whether we have money, but whether we love money; whether we share God’s concern for the poor and vulnerable; whether we are so preoccupied with personal concerns to even notice the Lazarus in our midst.
The parable makes two points: First, it has something to do with the reversal of fortunes of this life and in the hereafter. One day, God will reward his faithful stewards. Second, is that, even the return of a messenger from the dead will not bring a change of heart among the hardened rich. What brought the rich man to the place of torment was his indifference. He could not cry at the suffering and pain of those around him. He could not help because love was not in his heart.
Prayer:Lord, teach me to cry compassionately with those who suffer and not be indifferent to their pain. Amen.
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