Weekend Reflections for 9/27/19
Parable of Lazarus and Dives
In this parable Jesus reminds us of the all-important obligation to care for the very poor and destitute who are suffering in our midst and as well as in far off places around our world. Happily I find many people who are well challenged by this teaching. They accept it as a fundamental of our Judeo Christian tradition. Moreover, they struggle to determine what is their personal responsibility to care for the needs of the poor and abandoned.
There is no simple or single response for each one of us. Rather we have to look at the unique circumstances of our own lives, of our own living situation, our unique responsibilities for the people in our lives.
A Jesuit friend of mine was deeply committed to the needs of the poor. In order to be more understanding and aware of their situations he chose to live in a rather poor neighborhood. So he frequently encountered the poor. Many persons would ask for his support. Sometimes he was able to help them by referring them to services and people who might provide such assistance.
He himself did not have any money that he could offer. But he added that I always try to treat each person with attention and respect. I meet their gaze and I listen carefully to what they have to say. Where I can and it seems appropriate, I offer encouragement, concern and advice.
This is not to say that this should be the procedure for everyone, but I find it a good example of how each of us has to determine for ourselves how to meet the challenge of assisting and caring for the poor.
Jim Blumeyer, S.J.