The familiar image of Lazarus and the rich man might seem to be a condemnation of those with plenty who ignore the poor. However, it is more than that. It is a call to each of us to be conscious of the sufferings of those around us.
Jesus displayed a particular concern for the poor both those with little means of support and those who were crushed in spirit. He expects those who would follow him then and now to exhibit the same concern.
In our day and age, blaming the poor for their plight and ignoring their needs would be subject to the same condemnation.
Fr. Greeley's Last Book:
Once upon a time, not so very long ago, a new girl came to the 7th grade at St. Mary's school. Annie had come to live with her aunt and uncle after her parents, brother and sister had been killed in an auto accident, Annie had managed to roll out from under the car and was not physically damaged. However, the trauma of the event caused her to withdraw into a protective shell when dealing with strangers.
Most of the 7th grade girls thought she was weird and some of them even would laugh when she misspelled a word or left her book at home or did anything that they considered uncool. They, of course, considered themselves to be really cool. However, Katie, one of the cool girls felt sorry for Annie and befriended her.
She told her friends that they should be ashamed of themselves for the way they were treating Annie. After all, she said, how would you feel if your family all died in an accident?"
* by Dr. Mary
7 The LORD sets the prisoners
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