Jesus speaks of a real person -- someone who mattered, someone who mattered to God...even though he seemed not to matter to those around him.
The parable of Lazarus is yet again a statement of how much the poor and vulnerable are loved and valued by God even though they are not by those around them.
Throughout Scripture prophets call attention to the poor as the “blessed ones” of God. The people of Israel were continually warned against maltreating the poor, the marginalized and the alien. So often we hear people speak of the poor and the homeless as some kind of blight or an inconvenience that they can’t be bothered with and are not responsible for.
In our nation today, bigotry, racism and bias put black lives at risk, threaten Muslims, immigrants and refugees and marginalizes them all. These attitudes devalue God given human dignity!
In today’s Gospel Jesus clearly warns us of the consequences of just such attitudes!
As we reflect on the Gospel this week, let’s reflect on how we respond to the “Lazarus’” we encounter in our lives.
How do we as individuals and as a faith community show that we value and care for the poor and marginalized of our community? What are the social and political ramifications of this Gospel for us today? In the midst of widespread gun violence, racism, Islamophobia, anti- immigrant and anti-refugee sentiments, what is the “Gospel response” we are being called to respond with to these situations?