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9/25/16 Twenty Sixth Sunday in Ordinary Time - Fr. James

The Gospel today speaks of a rich man who failed to see what he was supposed to see. There was a poor man Lazarus at the gate of his house but the rich man did not notice him. He failed see Lazarus though he was at the gate of his house because he was focusing other things in life. The Gospel says that he dressed in purple garments and fine linen and dined sumptuously. He had his own priorities in the life. When focused on his own priorities he missed Lazarus.

As a Christian we must lead a focused life. The only focus of our life must be the love of God. The love of God will compel us to share this love with others. The love of God will make us truly concerned about taking care of our own soul instead of concentrating only on the needs of the body. The rich man had everything in life that was needed for his body; good food, linen cloths, good house, etc. But he failed to take care of his soul. The soul could be healthy only when we have love of God.

The love of God will help us to see others as our own brothers and sisters. The rich man was very much concerned with his brothers. Even in the midst of burning fire and killing thirst, he was worried of his brothers. But, remember, he never helped the poor man at the gate. It happened because he could not see the poor man as his brother.

The gospels says that the rich man saw Lazarus, not at the gate of his house but from the netherworld, where he was undergoing suffering. But it was too late. There he asked the help of Lazarus. Abraham denied and reminded him that there is big gulf between them. The rich man spent his lifetime constructing this gulf by isolating himself from the poor. Now this gulf, built day by day during his life, could not be undone in eternity. He did not build a bridge between the poor man Lazarus by looking at him and helping him. When we fail to make a bridge between one another, here on earth, we will be far away from God.

This parable reminds that we all are rich enough to share our blessings with others. God has blessed each one of us with wealth or health or special talents or social power or a combination of many blessings. Jesus invites us to share what we have been given with others in various ways instead of using everything exclusively for selfish gains. We need to remember that sharing is the criterion of Last Judgment

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