The Season after Pentecost: Year C, Proper 21

God judges those who neglect the poor and suffering

The parables of Jesus help us to see things more clearly, with the “eyes of faith.” Jesus wants us to see what is really going on in the world and not accept the same, old, easy answers.

Today’s gospel is Jesus’ story  of a very rich man and a poor man (Lazarus) who was ill and lay hungry at the rich man’s gate. Think for a moment about what the rich man did not see. The following are typical “easy answers.” One possible response based on the gospel message is given. Now write your own!

I had to work hard for my money. Let the poor do the same.” Many full-time jobs do not pay enough to support one person, let alone a family. We help in order to spread God’s love and justice to all.

“There are too many needy people in the world. One person can’t do anything to help them.” If each person helped one other person, together we could change the world.

“I’ve got my own problems. Let others take care of their own.” As followers of Christ, we see every person as our brother or sister. We are one in Christ.

The Baptismal Covenant calls each Christian to be aware of suffering and injustice.

  • Will you seek and serve Christ in all persons, loving your neighbor as yourself?
  • Will you strive for justice and peace among all people, and respect the dignity of every human being? (BCP 305).

The congregation must constantly ask:

Who is the Lazarus at our gate, and how can we respond?

How will you try to avoid the “easy answers” in your life?


About Sharon Ely Pearson

Wife, mom, grandmother; author, educator, consultant; trying to make a difference one action at a time. Christian formation has been my vocation for 40+ years - and counting!
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