Today’s readings illustrate our need to put all our trust in God’s gifts and not of things of this world.
The first and second readings speak of how blessed we are when we view the things we receive as gifts from God. We all know that we need money and lots of resources at our respective Catholic Charities agencies to serve those in our communities. Those are blessings that benefactors give us to benefit others. The money and resources are a result of benefactors maximizing their God-given talents, which create success.
The Gospel’s parable with Lazarus and the “rich man” is addressed to the religious leaders of the time. But it applies to each of us, especially those who have been blessed with privilege, money, talent, education, expertise, and connections with which to help others. This story reminds us of the huge inequalities between people, both in Jesus’ time and today. We must view what we have as graces and blessings that God gives us to honor Him and love our neighbor as ourselves.
The parable invites us to see ourselves as richer in the goods of the world than countless others. We have an obligation as Catholic Christians to feed the hungry, no matter for what they hunger. While we did not create the problems, we can be part of the solution. Our hearts go out to the millions of old and young who are hungry, like Lazarus at the rich man’s gate. At Catholic Charities we are continually called to provide “what is good” to those need. Trusting in God and having Him open our eyes to His call for us to use our talents is how we are led to what is “good.” The “good” that we strive to provide not only meets the bodily needs of others, but it will help us get closer to the ultimate good which is with God in heaven.
Brian Smith is the Director of Parish Engagement at Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of Oklahoma City and proudly serves on Catholic Charities USA’s Parish Social Ministry Leadership Team.