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Our modern society and wider world are places of extremes; we have the very wealthy and the desperately poor. In our newspapers and on our televisions, we see the many stories of people who have more money, wealth and riches than they will ever need. We also see those who are struggling just to stay alive each day. We are told that our economies are recovering after the serious financial crash. Yet the number of food banks and charity shops are growing daily.
Many churches and charities report that more and more people are looking for help and support with the basic necessities of life.
The gospel this Sunday puts before us the abundance of the rich man and the poverty of Lazarus. He is lying at the rich man’s door with the dogs as his only companions. We can well imagine the rich man simply stepping over Lazarus. He is so self-absorbed that Lazarus’ condition does not affect him in any way. When both die, Lazarus inherits eternal life with God, but the rich man does not fare as well. Only when he dies does he take notice of Lazarus, but it’s too late.
Every day, in countless small ways, we are asked to look beyond our own needs to see the needs of others. The choice is ours as to how we respond. We can reach in mercy and compassion or we can walk away. It is said that for evil to thrive all that is needed is that good people do nothing. This week, let us look beyond our needs and see where we can help another person and make a difference.
Michael Moore OMI