Second Week of Lent
March 4, 2010
Luke: 16: 19-31
The Gospel selection for today’s Mass is the very familiar parable of the Rich Man and Lazarus from the Gospel of Saint Luke.
God’s judgment against this man of wealth comes about, not because he is rich, as some people believe, but because he is selfish. Wealth, in and of itself, is not immoral. Rather, the morality of wealth is determined by the way it is used.
The rich man in the account from Saint Luke represents all of those people of means from yesterday and today who mistakenly believe that having is more important than being. They isolate and insulate themselves from everyone and everything that they consider “unpleasant” and could take them away from their own selfish interests and pursuits.
Little by little, these people withdraw into themselves and their world of wealth so that they no longer care to see or hear about those people in need.
This accounts for the fact that although Lazarus was at the gate of the home of the rich man, he was not even noticed.
Placing the parable within the Liturgy of the Word during the Lenten Season is a strong reminder of the Church’s long-standing practice of almsgiving – sharing what we have with the less fortunate of those among us.
Everyone who claims to be a follower of Christianity is morally obligated, according to his vocation in life, to help those who are in need.
At mass this morning we pray for the Grace to help others to the very best of our ability according to what our circumstances will allow.
It is helpful to remember: a shroud has not pockets. The dead carry in their hands only that which they have given away.
V. We adore Thee, O Christianity, and we praise Thee.
Rx. Because by Thy Holy Cross, Thou hast redeemed the world.