A Penitent Blogger

Mindful of my imperfections, seeking to know Truth more deeply and to live Love more fully.

Quid sum miser tunc dicturus? Quem patronum rogaturus? Cum vix iustus sit securus?
Recordare, Iesu pie, Quod sum causa tuae viae: Ne me perdas illa die...

Sunday, September 30, 2007


On a classic television comedy many years ago, a socially elite woman told how she and the ladies of her club recently happened to drive through the poor part of town and were so affected by the misery they saw that they made a decision: from now on... they would no longer drive through the poor part of town.

This may be a cute bit of comedy, but the tragedy is that there are many people in desperate need as well as many people who live quite comfortably and who steadfastly close their eyes to the misery of others.

The words of the prophet in today’s first reading (Amos 6:1a, 4-7) resonate strongly in this world today.

Thus says the LORD the God of hosts:
Woe to the complacent in Zion!
Lying upon beds of ivory,
stretched comfortably on their couches,
they eat lambs taken from the flock,
and calves from the stall!
Improvising to the music of the harp,
like David, they devise their own accompaniment.
They drink wine from bowls
and anoint themselves with the best oils;
yet they are not made ill by the collapse of Joseph!
Therefore, now they shall be the first to go into exile,
and their wanton revelry shall be done away with.

This is reinforced by the familiar story of Lazarus and the rich man in today’s Gospel (Luke 16:19-31):

There was a rich man
who dressed in purple garments and fine linen
and dined sumptuously each day.
And lying at his door was a poor man named Lazarus, covered with sores,
who would gladly have eaten his fill of the scraps
that fell from the rich man's table.

(Coincidentally, the Associated Press has reported purple garments as the dominant color for fall fashion this year.)

This is not simply a matter of rich versus poor: it is a matter of what we do with our lives and with the gifts we have received from God.

Are you and I complacent? Are we numb to the sufferings of our fellow human beings? Do we ignore people in pain and misery at our doorstep?

Do we ignore God and the purposes for which he gave us life and all the things we have?

You and I need to think about it, pray about it, and do what God wants.