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Sunday, September 29, 2013

They will not listen...

Jesus tells the story in today's Gospel of the rich man who died and was in torment and wanted the poor beggar who had suffered hunger and would have gladly eaten the crumbs from his table to go warn his brothers. Jesus says that if they did not listen to Moses and the prophets they would not even listen to one who is risen from the dead. I think this is a strong parable; when we have everything we need, are we concerned with those who lack the basic needs or do we just think of our own comfort?
I know that my life has changed since I returned from Chile. Then I was living the last years in the poorest region and the five in my community all lived on the salary of one workman. It meant not being able to have much but we usually had meat once a week and did not suffer hunger. We sometimes had to choose to either buy gas for cooking or gas to heat water for washing - it meant not having money for so many things we take for granted, but we were happy and had more than many in the same area where we lived. Our house had been built for us by the priests as we lived next to the church and were in charge of a large area. Then I returned to the United States after twenty years and found I was living a different life where I could go buy shampoo without thinking that this was something I had done without for years. Now I take for granted so many things. I guess this parable of the rich man ignoring the beggar at his gate makes me think that I may be the rich one and what am I doing for those who are struggling to find shelter and food for their families?
It is a powerful story and needs reflection and some action.

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