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Archive for February, 2016

At mass this morning the second reading was from Luke 16:19-31:

When the poor man died, he was carried away by angels to the bosom of Abraham.
The rich man also died and was buried …

It really caught my attention that the poor man, Lazarus, was carried away by angels but the rich man simply “was buried.”

I have been pondering that point – one man carried away by angels, another was buried. Angels for one … I suppose human beings buried the other?

And this line of thinking brought me back to the first reading from the same mass. From Jer 17:5-10:

Thus says the LORD:
Cursed is the man who trusts in human beings,
who seeks his strength in flesh,
whose heart turns away from the LORD

He is like a barren bush in the desert
that enjoys no change of season,
But stands in a lava waste,
a salt and empty earth.

The rich man, suffering in the netherworld, certainly was like a barren bush in the desert, standing in a lava waste, a salt and empty earth!

As I listened to the rest of the story of the rich man and Lazarus, I was reminded of a reflection that pointed out how the rich man still didn’t “see” Lazarus. He only addressed Abraham, asking him to instruct Lazarus to quench his thirst, to go warn his brothers. Even in the netherworld, the rich man continued treating Lazarus as someone to be sent to do his bidding.

I appreciate how daily readings from the old and new testaments compliment each other, even if they aren’t obviously nor directly related! Interesting readings today.

 

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I began a novena this morning and read this passage from Matthew:

“… and now she will bear a son.
You shall call him ‘Jesus’ for he will save
his people from their sins.”
(Matthew 1:21)

Is this really the first time I noticed?

“He will save his people …. ”

Not from other people on this earth – to this day His people are being killed for their love of Him and their faith in Him. Since His death Christians have been hunted and hated “the world” has tried to eliminate them.

Not from petty discomforts on this earth, nor was He born to elevate us in an earthly way with wealth or comfort or earthly power.

Not even from terrible suffering in this life, even from oppression or slavery or starvation.

No!  “… for he will save his people from their sins.”

Jesus did not suffer and die on the cross to save me from other enemies, real or imagined. He did not die to shower me with earthly blessings (though He certainly does that).

He died to save me from my own sins – the very things I have chosen that harm me and others around me, that are killing my soul and separating me from Him.

That’s a lot to digest this morning. It’s so easy to look at how messed up this world is, to observe how much evil is in it and devouring people every day and to pray in earnest for those people and against those great evils. And that is important to do.

But it is also important to remember to reflect and to pray: “Have mercy on me, a sinner.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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