XXVI SUNDAY OF THE YEAR
amos 6:1, 4-7; 1 timothy 6:11-16; luke 16:19-31
a botanist was observing heather-bell (a tiny flower native to western europe) through his magnifying glass. a shepherd approached and asked him what he was doing. rather than explain, the botanist invited the shepherd to observe for himself. when the shepherd saw the wonder of the flower, he exclaimed: «my gosh, and i have been tramping on them all my life!»
with his eyes blinded by the cares of his world, the shepherd had failed to see the tiny flower; it took a special lens to see it.
that was the sin of the rich man in the gospel parable! blinded by his life of luxury, he failed to see the homeless and non-descript lazarus lying at his door. dogs noticed lazarus, the rich man did not.
after death and in torment in hades, he sees lazarus! it takes the lens of suffering for him to see lazarus.
but even in hades, the rich man clings to the illusion of his superior status, and «commands» abraham to send lazarus with water to cool his tongue! like the leisured upper classes in jerusalem at the time of amos, who were incapable of imagining the collapse of joseph (cf. first reading), the rich man cannot grasp the reality of his situation and persists in thinking that he can secure his family’s future.
the parable highlights the apathy that riches can cause… an apathy and numbness that neither moses nor the prophets nor even the one who rises from the dead can penetrate.
who are the lazaruses that i fail to see in my life? what is it that blinds me to them?
what lenses do i need to see the tiny and non-descript people in my life and stop «tramping» them?