Yesterday's Gospel really hit me at Mass yesterday - it is from Luke 16:19-31, the story of Lazarus and the rich man. The first thing our priest told us is that in this parable, Jesus gives Lazarus a name which he typically does not do for any other parable. The name Lazarus means "God is my help," and it is because Lazarus relied upon God for all things that he rests in bosom of Father Abraham. His physical poverty also reveals his spiritual poverty and his reliance upon the Lord, whereas the rich man, relying only upon himself to the point of not even seeing Lazarus as a fellow man, suffers the pain of fire.
That made me realize that I need to more like Lazarus, how much I need to humble my own spirit and see God in those around me. How easy it has been for me to say to myself: "Poor, poor pitiful me. Jobless, a disastrous love life, practically penniless if not for my family, uninspired, etc, etc. We could go on and on feeling sorry for ourselves, especially in this economy and especially me after my horrific "phantom wedding" and wasted affection on someone who did not really love me. Yes, how many months have I wasted my talents in this way?
But in the Papal homily yesterday, Benedict interprets the Gospel in this way:
Our eternal destiny is conditioned by our attitude; it is up to us to follow the road to life that God has shown us, and this is the road of love, not understood as sentiment but as service to others in the charity of Christ.The road of love that God has shown unto me. See, I thought it was marriage. And perhaps it still is, but not to Peter. My life has changed and I am learning to accept it. So I need to ask myself: who is the Lazarus in my own life? Perhaps it is someone in my own house. How can I make my spiritual disposition more like Lazarus? Why do I waste my talents with sentiments such as worry, doubt, fear, anger? When is the time to act if it is not now? Today is the feast of St. Vincent De Paul. He knew what it meant to serve others in the charity of Christ - so let us ask him to intercede of us, that we too will respond daily to the call of love that we might become God's little flowers that make the world more beautiful by reflecting His goodness and beauty.