Our first reading today from Jeremiah 17 and the Responsorial Psalm are nearly identical. At the end of the passage from Jeremiah, we read, “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.” God knows where our hearts are. Let’s pray that they will be true to Him.
The Gospel reading is the story from Luke 16 of Lazarus and the rich man. Lazarus, a poor beggar, dies and finds comfort in the bosom of Abraham. The rich man found himself going in the other direction, to eternal torment. He cries out to Abraham to allow Lazarus to offer him just a drop of water. No can do, pal. The rich man then begs Abraham to send Lazarus back to earth to warn his brothers of their impending doom should they not mend their ways. Abraham replies, “If they will not listen to Moses and the prophets, neither will they be persuaded if someone should rise from the dead.”
For the rich man, it was too late. He had made his bed, now he would have to lie in it…for eternity. Oh, he had heard the preaching, knew the score when he was on earth. He probably didn’t think the rules applied to him, or maybe just got so caught up in himself that he couldn’t even see Lazarus. To him, Lazarus had become invisible. So what about us? Have you reached a point where the poor, the downtrodden have become invisible? They’re all around us. Do you even notice anymore? You know, someone has risen from the dead. He told us to make sure that we see the plight of others. Before it is too late.
Father, we’re so sorry for the times when we’re so caught up in self that others become invisible. Open our hearts, that our eyes may be opened, too. Amen.