Pastor's Corner

My Sisters and Brothers of All Saints Church: Greetings and Praise the Lord.

Robbers of Joy: Being available and listening.

Too late! While he was alive, the rich man in today’s Gospel ignored the beggar Lazarus at his gate. Now he suffers in torment. In today’s Gospel- Luke 16:19-31, although Lazarus has a clear name, it’s the rich man who claims the spotlight so much so that he cannot even see Lazarus in front of his own door. In the rich man’s world, Lazarus doesn’t exist. While we want to hold up the rich man as extraordinarily evil and cold, but, as we look at ourselves through this parable, aren’t there many kinds of people to whom we are blind?

We have governors of states flying immigrants, who have come here with the same needs and dreams that our grandparents had, to different cities so they can use these poor people to make a point. We do not see them as individuals, in their suffering and need. We see them as a group, immigrants, and make them into a political football. And yet none of us would want our spouses or children to undergo a tiny portion of the sufferings of these people. To top it off, it’s the representatives of these same states who have refused to consider anything like our long-needed immigration reform. They are just Lazarus at the door; let’s make them beg even harder for our American scraps.

Likewise, we do not often see the “essential workers” who were made famous during the pandemic. They don’t have corner offices or jobs that use zoom. They just cook, clean, drive, bandage, and overall keep society together. But we don’t see them. It’s just Lazarus whom we want to work for us around like the rich man, in death, wants Lazarus to do.

Nor do we often see people of other races. We congratulate ourselves on our multiculturalism, we have mostly slipped into our enclaves where we hang out with people like ourselves, never having to stretch ourselves to understand another person’s language, situation, or pain.

We even often do not see each other, getting into our routines, paying less attention to our spouses or children, avoiding people with whom we have quarreled, not speaking to those we have dismissed. Lazarus is everywhere.

“If they will not listen to Moses and the prophets, they will not even listen to me after I’m raised from the dead.” Jesus is saying that until we see each other, and the poorest, we cannot begin to know what the resurrection is all about.

How sadly true is this, we who so often slip into “rich man” mode even though we celebrate a Risen Christ every Sunday. Before we celebrate resurrection, we have to acknowledge death. And, to acknowledge death, we have to acknowledge the poor, the marginalized, the suffering, and the neglected.

Do I see myself striving to be available and listening to others?

Fr. Fred Kaddu, SSJ

We bless your name, O Lord,
For sending your own incarnate Son,
To become part of a family,
So that, as he lived its life,
He would experience its worries and its joys.
We ask you Lord,
To protect and watch over this family,
So that in the strength of your grace
It members may enjoy prosperity,
Possess the priceless gift of your peace,
And, as the Church alive in the home,
Bear witness in this world to your glory.
We ask this through Christ our Lord. Amen.