READINGS for 2008-02-21

Didache | Companion | Sabbath

DIDACHE

 

THiNkiNg OF THE POOR
 
And lying at his door was a poor man named Lazarus, covered with sores, who would gladly have eaten his fill of the scraps that fell from the rich man’s table. – Luke 16:20-21
 
Going home after a party one night, I was looking forward to eating some of the barbecue I brought with me. Though I already had my fill, I had “midnight snack” in my mind. As a friend bade me goodbye, he asked me to take his own share as well. As I was leaving, he told me in a very casual tone: “Ikaw na ang bahala diyan. Mas alam mo kung sino ang nangangailangan” (You take my share. You would know who would need it more).
        His words jolted me out of the thought of satisfying my palate and stomach. While I was thinking about my craving, my friend had the poor in mind. I ended up giving my leftovers to a group of street people who had little to eat.
        That incident got me thinking about how often the average person thinks of the poor. If I am the average person, that may be once in a blue moon or when somebody reminds me of it. I hope the average person is like my friend who does the reminding. Jun Asis
 
REFLECTION:
Do we turn to action or indifference when reminded about the poor?
 
Lord, open my eyes to the poor around me. Make me Your instrument to help make their lives a little better.
 
COMPANION

 

1st READING
 
Whatever we are doing and wherever we may be, it is essential that we thrust our roots into the living water of a relationship with God — a relationship nourished by God’s will, His Word and prayer. The teachings of the Church are part of the revealed will and so we need to study these as well. God has given us so many aids to the spiritual life so that we do not get lost. Only sin can cause us confusion and lead us astray.
 
Jeremiah 17:5-10
5 Thus says the LORD: Cursed is the man who trusts in human beings, who seeks his strength in flesh, whose heart turns away from the LORD. 6 He is like a barren bush in the desert that enjoys no change of season, but stands in a lava waste, a salt and empty earth. 7 Blessed is the man who trusts in the LORD, whose hope is the LORD. 8 He is like a tree planted beside the waters that stretches out its roots to the stream. It fears not the heat when it comes, its leaves stay green; in the year of drought it shows no distress, but still bears fruit. 9 More tortuous than all else is the human heart, beyond remedy; who can understand it? 10 I, the LORD, alone probe the mind and test the heart, to reward everyone according to his ways, according to the merit of his deeds.
 
P S A L M
 
Psalm 1:1-2, 3, 4 and 6
R: Blessed are they who hope in the Lord.
1 Blessed the man who follows not the counsel of the wicked nor walks in the way of sinners, nor sits in the company of the insolent, 2 but delights in the law of the LORD and meditates on his law day and night. (R) 3 He is like a tree planted near running water, that yields its fruit in due season, and whose leaves never fade. Whatever he does, prospers. (R) 4 Not so the wicked, not so; they are like chaff which the wind drives away. 6 For the LORD watches over the way of the just, but the way of the wicked vanishes. (R)
 
G O S P E L
 
The Church and the world must learn to take this parable seriously. It is truly a matter of life and death not just for the poor man Lazarus but for us as well. At the heart of this parable is the call to generosity and holiness of life. There is no excuse for any of us in that there is always someone who is less well off than we are and therefore we have a moral obligation to care for them. How this works itself out in practice is entirely up to the individual. None of us can afford to look at the problem and seeing its enormity, put it into the proverbial “too hard basket.” There is never any excuse against the principle of “acting locally” even if we happen to be thinking globally.
 
Luke 16:19-31
19 “There was a rich man who dressed in purple garments and fine linen and dined sumptuously each day. 20 And lying at his door was a poor man named Lazarus, covered with sores, 21 who would gladly have eaten his fill of the scraps that fell from the rich man’s table. Dogs even used to come and lick his sores. 22 When the poor man died, he was carried away by angels to the bosom of Abraham. The rich man also died and was buried, 23 and from the netherworld, where he was in torment, he raised his eyes and saw Abraham far off and Lazarus at his side. 24 And he cried out, ‘Father Abraham, have pity on me. Send Lazarus to dip the tip of his finger in water and cool my tongue, for I am suffering torment in these flames.’ 25 Abraham replied, ‘My child, remember that you received what was good during your lifetime while Lazarus likewise received what was bad; but now he is comforted here, whereas you are tormented. 26 Moreover, between us and you a great chasm is established to prevent anyone from crossing who might wish to go from our side to yours or from your side to ours.’ 27 He said, ‘Then I beg you, father, send him to my father’s house, 28 for I have five brothers, so that he may warn them, lest they too come to this place of torment.’ 29 But Abraham replied, ‘They have Moses and the prophets. Let them listen to them.’ 30 He said, ‘Oh no, father Abraham, but if someone from the dead goes to them, they will repent.’ 31 Then Abraham said, ‘If they will not listen to Moses and the prophets, neither will they be persuaded if someone should rise from the dead.’ ”
 
my reflections
think:Whatever we are doing and wherever we may be, it is essential that we thrust our roots into the living water of a relationship with God — a relationship nourished by God’s will, His Word and prayer.
 
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God’s special verse/thought for me today________________
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T O D A Y ’ S BLESSING LIST
Thank You Lord for: ____________________________________
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READ THE BIBLE IN ONE YEAR 2 Thessalonians 1-3
2 Thessalonians 1-3
 
SABBATH

 

doinG nothinG
 
Some well-meaning people say that the growing number of poor among us should shame us Christians. Christians should never feel comfortable with the fact that there are people who are living miserably because of poverty. If misery continues to exist among the marginalized poor in a society then perhaps the Christians in that society are remiss in their obligations.
        If we are really to see the point of Jesus we need to see the sin of the rich man in today’s gospel placed adjacent to our own lives as Christians. The fate of the rich man could very well be ours if we’ll deal with the poor the same way he did with Lazarus. And what did he do? Nothing.
        The rich man did nothing. He did not kick poor Lazarus on his way out of his gate. He did not make him leave for making his front steps unsightly. He did not hurl invectives at him. In other words, he did not do anything bad to him. But, he did not do anything nice either.
        Luke illustrated the poor man’s misery clearly. If dogs could come and lick the wounds of the poor Lazarus without his protestations, then he was truly helpless. Extreme hunger was likewise never inconspicuous for he longed even just for scraps falling from the rich man’s table. The sin of the rich man is not because he did not do something bad against the poor Lazarus but because he failed to lift a finger to alleviate the suffering of someone desperately in need.
        The turn of events in today’s gospel can surely make one tremble—imagine the quick transition from utmost affluence to frightful torment. Let that thought spur us to action to do  something for the poor. For our neglect of them and refusal to act now may cause us our own damnation. Fr. Sandy Enhaynes
 
Reflection Question: You may not have done anything bad but have you actually done some good?
 
Jesus, open my eyes to any sin of omission I have committed  against You and the needy in my midst.
 
St. Avitus II of Clemont, bishop and defender of the Church, pray for us.
 



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