This week we hear the Gospel account of the Rich Man and Lazarus… essentially Jesus tells of a rich man who seemed to have everything living a lavish lifestyle whilst ignoring the needs of Lazarus as he steps over him in the gutter of the street outside his front door. When they both die Lazarus is taken to the heart of God’s kingdom whilst the Rich Man suffers far from God’s love wanting to go back and warn his brothers to live a different life.
Who are we to take pity on? Lazarus who has suffered as a poor man or the Rich Man has died and found himself having lived the wrong life. It is clear that we are challenged not to live our lives with a focus on material things but think of those we walk alongside.
It reminded me of the music video “Another Day in Paradise” by Phil Collins.
It was from 1989, when I was just 16, but some of the images could be yesterday when we think of the challenges of poverty and homelessness in our cities or the images of immigration on the news. The 27 years seem like yesterday…
For a younger audience maybe the Blacked Eyed Peas #whereisthelove will make more sense, originally released in 2003.
It gives the same message. We need to make a real commitment to live in a loving way by opening our eyes to what is happening around us. Jesus is challenging us to reach out with compassion and care to make a difference in the world we live in – this is at the heart of what it means to have a living faith as a Christian.
We have started the journey to work with a family of Catholic schools and last week had a conference with students, aged 5 to 18, to look at our mission statement and patron Saint. They chose Saint Teresa (Mother Teresa) of Calcutta who dedicated her life to fighting for the poor and living alongside them in her service of faith. To find out more of what we are doing as the Teresa Catholic Education Trust follow us on twitter @teresacet.
Some simple questions for us…
- How can we open our eyes to the needs of those around us?
- What small things can we do to reach out with compassion and love?
- How can we ensure we get our priorities right and don’t miss opportunities to live out the call of faith to “love one another as I have loved you.”
I know if we pose these questions the world around us will simply, one step at a time, become a better place. So what are we waiting for?!