Sunday, September 29, 2019

Dear Friends,

Today in our Gospel, we meet Dives and Lazarus, characters in Jesus’ parable which, on the surface is about the wealthy and the poor co-existing in the world. But the rich man, Dives, is not accused of specific injustices, but only of self-interest, self-indulgence and…indifference to Lazarus. In fact Dives does not even see Lazarus, so absorbed is he in his own world.

Dives is like the complacent people whom Amos chides in the first reading. They were so taken up in their own pleasure and success that they were not sickened by the moral collapse of their country.

What does it take to overcome indifference to the stranger?  Work, concentration and  commitment  are essentially needed to become more deeply human like Christ, who never neglects anyone who passed his way.

Praying for a change of heart is the  indispensable  way  to  begin  setting  aside indifference and becoming conscious of the stranger, anyone whom we typically pass by. Here’s a prayer that moves us in that direction.

                Tender God,

                                                In the presence of people whom You know and love,

                                                Teach me to be a good listener

                                                To hear what people unconnected to us  are really saying,

                                                And not ignore them with indifference.

                Attentive God,

                                                In the presence of people whom You know and love,

                                                Help me to speak words that build the other person up.

                                                Words  of comfort, encouragement and hope.

                God who sees beyond our own limited sight,

                                                In the presence of the people You know and love,

                                                Move me to see beyond what I want to see.

                                                Let me look past no one whom You have put before  me.

                Compassionate God,

                                                In the presence of the people You  know and love,

                                                Let my voice be an faithful echo of Your own,

                                                My hand to reach out to heal as  Yours  does.

                                                Let me not walk past those  whom  You love,

                                                For You love everyone who comes my way.

~ Sister Joan Sobala