Fr. Michael Simone, S.J.

Fr. Michael Simone S.J. Fr. Michael Simone, S.J. is beginning his ministry as instructor in Old Testament Studies at the Boston College School of Theology and Ministry


Please share the Good Word with your friends!

Jeremy Langford

Jeremy Pic Jeremy Langford is the director of communications for the Chicago-Detroit Province Jesuits and author of Seeds of Faith: Practices to Grow a Healthy Spiritual Life


Please share the Good Word with your friends!

Prayer

O God, you made us in your own image and redeemed us through Jesus your Son: Look with compassion on the whole human family; take away the arrogance and hatred which infect our hearts; break down the walls that separate us; unite us in bonds of love; and work through our struggle and confusion to accomplish your purposes on earth; that, in your good time, all nations and races may serve you in harmony around your heavenly throne; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

—Book of Common Prayer


Please share the Good Word with your friends!

Building the Kingdom Here and Now

Things are not always as they appear to be; even less are they as we think they ought to be. The disciples certainly discovered that truth during their interaction with Jesus in today’s scripture passage. Jesus’ followers are vying for the position of “most important.” If we enter into the scene, we can imagine each disciple listing off his credentials, his years with Jesus, perhaps even his family lineage. In the midst of the conversation, however, Jesus chimes in reminding them (for everything about Jesus has been saying it all along) that it is not the powerful, or the rich, or the intelligent who are the greatest. In fact, he chooses to align himself with those who represent the least social status in his time. “If you warmly receive a child,” he states, “you receive me and you receive God.” I’m sure it was not the resolution the disciples were expecting.

It is easy to sympathize with these followers. We too can get caught up in self-serving arguments— at work and at home—aimed at reassuring ourselves, and others, of our importance and worth. But when we do that, we run the risk of missing the truth that God is trying to reveal to us; namely, that he dwells with those the world has cast aside.

Today, Jesus cries out to us to warmly receive those in our society who lack status: the ex-con, the high school dropout, the immigrant, the poor. Receive these people into your life, he promises, and you receive me. Then, to push his point further, Jesus instructs John to embrace those who cast out demons, whether they are of his company or not.

Likewise, he calls us today to embrace those who work for peace, whether they are from the U.S. or Russia or anywhere else in the world. He calls us to embrace those who heal our broken world, no matter their religion. In short, he calls us to embrace all those who do their part in realizing the Kingdom of God here and now.

—Judy Henry McMullan earned a Master of Divinity degree from the Boston College School of Theology and Ministry (formerly Weston Jesuit School of Theology). She currently works as a Pastoral Care Minister at Bethany Health Care Center in Framingham, MA


Please share the Good Word with your friends!

St. Jerome

Luke 9: 46-50

An argument arose among them as to which one of them was the greatest.But Jesus, aware of their inner thoughts, took a little child and put it by his side,and said to them, “Whoever welcomes this child in my name welcomes me, and whoever welcomes me welcomes the one who sent me; for the least among all of you is the greatest.”John answered, “Master, we saw someone casting out demons in your name, and we tried to stop him, because he does not follow with us.”But Jesus said to him, “Do not stop him; for whoever is not against you is for you.”

New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989, by the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. USCCB approved http://www.usccb.org/bible/approved-translations


Please share the Good Word with your friends!

September 30, 2013

St. Jerome

Luke 9: 46-50

An argument arose among them as to which one of them was the greatest.But Jesus, aware of their inner thoughts, took a little child and put it by his side,and said to them, “Whoever welcomes this child in my name welcomes me, and whoever welcomes me welcomes the one who sent me; for the least among all of you is the greatest.”John answered, “Master, we saw someone casting out demons in your name, and we tried to stop him, because he does not follow with us.”But Jesus said to him, “Do not stop him; for whoever is not against you is for you.”

New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989, by the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. USCCB approved http://www.usccb.org/bible/approved-translations

Building the Kingdom Here and Now

Things are not always as they appear to be; even less are they as we think they ought to be. The disciples certainly discovered that truth during their interaction with Jesus in today’s scripture passage. Jesus’ followers are vying for the position of “most important.” If we enter into the scene, we can imagine each disciple listing off his credentials, his years with Jesus, perhaps even his family lineage. In the midst of the conversation, however, Jesus chimes in reminding them (for everything about Jesus has been saying it all along) that it is not the powerful, or the rich, or the intelligent who are the greatest. In fact, he chooses to align himself with those who represent the least social status in his time. “If you warmly receive a child,” he states, “you receive me and you receive God.” I’m sure it was not the resolution the disciples were expecting.

It is easy to sympathize with these followers. We too can get caught up in self-serving arguments— at work and at home—aimed at reassuring ourselves, and others, of our importance and worth. But when we do that, we run the risk of missing the truth that God is trying to reveal to us; namely, that he dwells with those the world has cast aside.

Today, Jesus cries out to us to warmly receive those in our society who lack status: the ex-con, the high school dropout, the immigrant, the poor. Receive these people into your life, he promises, and you receive me. Then, to push his point further, Jesus instructs John to embrace those who cast out demons, whether they are of his company or not.

Likewise, he calls us today to embrace those who work for peace, whether they are from the U.S. or Russia or anywhere else in the world. He calls us to embrace those who heal our broken world, no matter their religion. In short, he calls us to embrace all those who do their part in realizing the Kingdom of God here and now.

—Judy Henry McMullan earned a Master of Divinity degree from the Boston College School of Theology and Ministry (formerly Weston Jesuit School of Theology). She currently works as a Pastoral Care Minister at Bethany Health Care Center in Framingham, MA

Prayer

O God, you made us in your own image and redeemed us through Jesus your Son: Look with compassion on the whole human family; take away the arrogance and hatred which infect our hearts; break down the walls that separate us; unite us in bonds of love; and work through our struggle and confusion to accomplish your purposes on earth; that, in your good time, all nations and races may serve you in harmony around your heavenly throne; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

—Book of Common Prayer


Please share the Good Word with your friends!

Prayer

Lord, give us the grace to embrace the truth that God is in every person’s life. Even if that life has been a disaster – destroyed by vices, drugs, or anything else. Help us to remember that although a person’s life is a land full of thorns and weeds, there is always a space in which the good seed can grow. Above all increase our trust in this promise: While we can forget about you, your Spirit never, ever forgets about us.

America, adapted from an interview with Pope Francis, September 30, 2013


Please share the Good Word with your friends!

Indifference or … ?

Usually Jesus gives his parables a very short introduction. For example, one of
his longest parables, the Good Samaritan, gets to the point very quickly: A man was
going down from Jerusalem to Jericho, when he was attacked by robbers. Today’s
parable, however, has a lengthy wind-up pitch.
Jesus wants to make sure we see the rich man and Lazarus very clearly in our mind’s eye.

He is trying to tug at our hearts; he wants us to feel compassion for Lazarus, even as he shows us clearly how the rich man (traditionally nicknamed “Divēs”) lived his life. And when Jesus points out that Lazarus spent his days begging at Divēs’ front door, I think he is hoping we feel a little shocked at the close proximity of two people we would normally view so differently.

It is clear that Jesus – at least Luke’s Jesus – believes the afterlife to be a place a
reversal (Woe to you who eat your fill now! You will be hungry!! Luke 6:25). Lazarus,
who lived in friendless torment, is now surrounded by love. Divēs, who on earth had
everything he wanted, now lives in hell. This is why Jesus, especially in Luke’s gospel,
emphasizes simplicity and repentance. If we can break our self-indulgent habits in this
life, then we will be welcome at a magnificent feast in the next.

If Divēs committed any sin, it was that of indifference to the tormented man lying
at his door. I remember in a previous job walking past a homeless man every day. The problems he had seemed far beyond anything I could help with, and so every day I walked right by him. Then one Lent I decided I would at least introduce myself and we started to chat a little every morning after that. I never gave him any money, but my chat with him became one of the bright points in my morning. My relationship with him helped me understand the problem of homelessness in my city, and helped me find ways I could actually help him and others.

As we read this week’s gospel, then, let us take up Jesus’ twofold challenge, first to live lives of humble simplicity, and second to overcome the temptation to indifference.

—Fr. Michael Simone, S.J. is beginning his ministry as instructor in Old Testament Studies at the Boston College School of Theology and Ministry


Please share the Good Word with your friends!

Luke 16: 19-31

“There was a rich man who was dressed in purple and fine linen and who feasted sumptuously every day. And at his gate lay a poor man named Lazarus, covered with sores, who longed to satisfy his hunger with what fell from the rich man’s table; even the dogs would come and lick his sores. The poor man died and was carried away by the angels to be with Abraham. The rich man also died and was buried. In Hades, where he was being tormented, he looked up and saw Abraham far away with Lazarus by his side. He called out, ‘Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus to dip the tip of his finger in water and cool my tongue; for I am in agony in these flames.’

But Abraham said, ‘Child, remember that during your lifetime you received your good things, and Lazarus in like manner evil things; but now he is comforted here, and you are in agony. Besides all this, between you and us a great chasm has been fixed, so that those who might want to pass from here to you cannot do so, and no one can cross from there to us.’ He said, ‘Then, father, I beg you to send him to my father’s house—for I have five brothers—that he may warn them, so that they will not also come into this place of torment.’

Abraham replied, ‘They have Moses and the prophets; they should listen to them.’ He said, ‘No, father Abraham; but if someone goes to them from the dead, they will repent.’ He said to him, ‘If they do not listen to Moses and the prophets, neither will they be convinced even if someone rises from the dead.’”

New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989, by the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. USCCB approved http://www.usccb.org/bible/approved-translations


Please share the Good Word with your friends!

September 29, 2013

Luke 16: 19-31

“There was a rich man who was dressed in purple and fine linen and who feasted sumptuously every day. And at his gate lay a poor man named Lazarus, covered with sores, who longed to satisfy his hunger with what fell from the rich man’s table; even the dogs would come and lick his sores. The poor man died and was carried away by the angels to be with Abraham. The rich man also died and was buried. In Hades, where he was being tormented, he looked up and saw Abraham far away with Lazarus by his side. He called out, ‘Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus to dip the tip of his finger in water and cool my tongue; for I am in agony in these flames.’

But Abraham said, ‘Child, remember that during your lifetime you received your good things, and Lazarus in like manner evil things; but now he is comforted here, and you are in agony. Besides all this, between you and us a great chasm has been fixed, so that those who might want to pass from here to you cannot do so, and no one can cross from there to us.’ He said, ‘Then, father, I beg you to send him to my father’s house—for I have five brothers—that he may warn them, so that they will not also come into this place of torment.’

Abraham replied, ‘They have Moses and the prophets; they should listen to them.’ He said, ‘No, father Abraham; but if someone goes to them from the dead, they will repent.’ He said to him, ‘If they do not listen to Moses and the prophets, neither will they be convinced even if someone rises from the dead.’”

New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989, by the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. USCCB approved http://www.usccb.org/bible/approved-translations

Indifference or … ?

Usually Jesus gives his parables a very short introduction. For example, one of
his longest parables, the Good Samaritan, gets to the point very quickly: A man was
going down from Jerusalem to Jericho, when he was attacked by robbers. Today’s
parable, however, has a lengthy wind-up pitch.
Jesus wants to make sure we see the rich man and Lazarus very clearly in our mind’s eye.

He is trying to tug at our hearts; he wants us to feel compassion for Lazarus, even as he shows us clearly how the rich man (traditionally nicknamed “Divēs”) lived his life. And when Jesus points out that Lazarus spent his days begging at Divēs’ front door, I think he is hoping we feel a little shocked at the close proximity of two people we would normally view so differently.

It is clear that Jesus – at least Luke’s Jesus – believes the afterlife to be a place a
reversal (Woe to you who eat your fill now! You will be hungry!! Luke 6:25). Lazarus,
who lived in friendless torment, is now surrounded by love. Divēs, who on earth had
everything he wanted, now lives in hell. This is why Jesus, especially in Luke’s gospel,
emphasizes simplicity and repentance. If we can break our self-indulgent habits in this
life, then we will be welcome at a magnificent feast in the next.

If Divēs committed any sin, it was that of indifference to the tormented man lying
at his door. I remember in a previous job walking past a homeless man every day. The problems he had seemed far beyond anything I could help with, and so every day I walked right by him. Then one Lent I decided I would at least introduce myself and we started to chat a little every morning after that. I never gave him any money, but my chat with him became one of the bright points in my morning. My relationship with him helped me understand the problem of homelessness in my city, and helped me find ways I could actually help him and others.

As we read this week’s gospel, then, let us take up Jesus’ twofold challenge, first to live lives of humble simplicity, and second to overcome the temptation to indifference.

–Fr. Michael Simone, S.J. is beginning his ministry as instructor in Old Testament Studies at the Boston College School of Theology and Ministry

Prayer

Lord, give us the grace to embrace the truth that God is in every person’s life. Even if that life has been a disaster – destroyed by vices, drugs, or anything else. Help us to remember that although a person’s life is a land full of thorns and weeds, there is always a space in which the good seed can grow. Above all increase our trust in this promise: While we can forget about you, your Spirit never, ever forgets about us.

America, adapted from an interview with Pope Francis, September 30, 2013


Please share the Good Word with your friends!

Welcome to FaithCP

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Fr. Michael Simone, S.J.

Fr. Michael Simone S.J. Fr. Michael Simone, S.J. is beginning his ministry as instructor in Old Testament Studies at the Boston College School of Theology and Ministry


Please share the Good Word with your friends!

Jeremy Langford

Jeremy Pic Jeremy Langford is the director of communications for the Chicago-Detroit Province Jesuits and author of Seeds of Faith: Practices to Grow a Healthy Spiritual Life


Please share the Good Word with your friends!

Prayer

O God, you made us in your own image and redeemed us through Jesus your Son: Look with compassion on the whole human family; take away the arrogance and hatred which infect our hearts; break down the walls that separate us; unite us in bonds of love; and work through our struggle and confusion to accomplish your purposes on earth; that, in your good time, all nations and races may serve you in harmony around your heavenly throne; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

—Book of Common Prayer


Please share the Good Word with your friends!

Building the Kingdom Here and Now

Things are not always as they appear to be; even less are they as we think they ought to be. The disciples certainly discovered that truth during their interaction with Jesus in today’s scripture passage. Jesus’ followers are vying for the position of “most important.” If we enter into the scene, we can imagine each disciple listing off his credentials, his years with Jesus, perhaps even his family lineage. In the midst of the conversation, however, Jesus chimes in reminding them (for everything about Jesus has been saying it all along) that it is not the powerful, or the rich, or the intelligent who are the greatest. In fact, he chooses to align himself with those who represent the least social status in his time. “If you warmly receive a child,” he states, “you receive me and you receive God.” I’m sure it was not the resolution the disciples were expecting.

It is easy to sympathize with these followers. We too can get caught up in self-serving arguments— at work and at home—aimed at reassuring ourselves, and others, of our importance and worth. But when we do that, we run the risk of missing the truth that God is trying to reveal to us; namely, that he dwells with those the world has cast aside.

Today, Jesus cries out to us to warmly receive those in our society who lack status: the ex-con, the high school dropout, the immigrant, the poor. Receive these people into your life, he promises, and you receive me. Then, to push his point further, Jesus instructs John to embrace those who cast out demons, whether they are of his company or not.

Likewise, he calls us today to embrace those who work for peace, whether they are from the U.S. or Russia or anywhere else in the world. He calls us to embrace those who heal our broken world, no matter their religion. In short, he calls us to embrace all those who do their part in realizing the Kingdom of God here and now.

—Judy Henry McMullan earned a Master of Divinity degree from the Boston College School of Theology and Ministry (formerly Weston Jesuit School of Theology). She currently works as a Pastoral Care Minister at Bethany Health Care Center in Framingham, MA


Please share the Good Word with your friends!

St. Jerome

Luke 9: 46-50

An argument arose among them as to which one of them was the greatest.But Jesus, aware of their inner thoughts, took a little child and put it by his side,and said to them, “Whoever welcomes this child in my name welcomes me, and whoever welcomes me welcomes the one who sent me; for the least among all of you is the greatest.”John answered, “Master, we saw someone casting out demons in your name, and we tried to stop him, because he does not follow with us.”But Jesus said to him, “Do not stop him; for whoever is not against you is for you.”

New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989, by the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. USCCB approved http://www.usccb.org/bible/approved-translations


Please share the Good Word with your friends!

September 30, 2013

St. Jerome

Luke 9: 46-50

An argument arose among them as to which one of them was the greatest.But Jesus, aware of their inner thoughts, took a little child and put it by his side,and said to them, “Whoever welcomes this child in my name welcomes me, and whoever welcomes me welcomes the one who sent me; for the least among all of you is the greatest.”John answered, “Master, we saw someone casting out demons in your name, and we tried to stop him, because he does not follow with us.”But Jesus said to him, “Do not stop him; for whoever is not against you is for you.”

New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989, by the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. USCCB approved http://www.usccb.org/bible/approved-translations

Building the Kingdom Here and Now

Things are not always as they appear to be; even less are they as we think they ought to be. The disciples certainly discovered that truth during their interaction with Jesus in today’s scripture passage. Jesus’ followers are vying for the position of “most important.” If we enter into the scene, we can imagine each disciple listing off his credentials, his years with Jesus, perhaps even his family lineage. In the midst of the conversation, however, Jesus chimes in reminding them (for everything about Jesus has been saying it all along) that it is not the powerful, or the rich, or the intelligent who are the greatest. In fact, he chooses to align himself with those who represent the least social status in his time. “If you warmly receive a child,” he states, “you receive me and you receive God.” I’m sure it was not the resolution the disciples were expecting.

It is easy to sympathize with these followers. We too can get caught up in self-serving arguments— at work and at home—aimed at reassuring ourselves, and others, of our importance and worth. But when we do that, we run the risk of missing the truth that God is trying to reveal to us; namely, that he dwells with those the world has cast aside.

Today, Jesus cries out to us to warmly receive those in our society who lack status: the ex-con, the high school dropout, the immigrant, the poor. Receive these people into your life, he promises, and you receive me. Then, to push his point further, Jesus instructs John to embrace those who cast out demons, whether they are of his company or not.

Likewise, he calls us today to embrace those who work for peace, whether they are from the U.S. or Russia or anywhere else in the world. He calls us to embrace those who heal our broken world, no matter their religion. In short, he calls us to embrace all those who do their part in realizing the Kingdom of God here and now.

—Judy Henry McMullan earned a Master of Divinity degree from the Boston College School of Theology and Ministry (formerly Weston Jesuit School of Theology). She currently works as a Pastoral Care Minister at Bethany Health Care Center in Framingham, MA

Prayer

O God, you made us in your own image and redeemed us through Jesus your Son: Look with compassion on the whole human family; take away the arrogance and hatred which infect our hearts; break down the walls that separate us; unite us in bonds of love; and work through our struggle and confusion to accomplish your purposes on earth; that, in your good time, all nations and races may serve you in harmony around your heavenly throne; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

—Book of Common Prayer


Please share the Good Word with your friends!

Prayer

Lord, give us the grace to embrace the truth that God is in every person’s life. Even if that life has been a disaster – destroyed by vices, drugs, or anything else. Help us to remember that although a person’s life is a land full of thorns and weeds, there is always a space in which the good seed can grow. Above all increase our trust in this promise: While we can forget about you, your Spirit never, ever forgets about us.

America, adapted from an interview with Pope Francis, September 30, 2013


Please share the Good Word with your friends!

Indifference or … ?

Usually Jesus gives his parables a very short introduction. For example, one of
his longest parables, the Good Samaritan, gets to the point very quickly: A man was
going down from Jerusalem to Jericho, when he was attacked by robbers. Today’s
parable, however, has a lengthy wind-up pitch.
Jesus wants to make sure we see the rich man and Lazarus very clearly in our mind’s eye.

He is trying to tug at our hearts; he wants us to feel compassion for Lazarus, even as he shows us clearly how the rich man (traditionally nicknamed “Divēs”) lived his life. And when Jesus points out that Lazarus spent his days begging at Divēs’ front door, I think he is hoping we feel a little shocked at the close proximity of two people we would normally view so differently.

It is clear that Jesus – at least Luke’s Jesus – believes the afterlife to be a place a
reversal (Woe to you who eat your fill now! You will be hungry!! Luke 6:25). Lazarus,
who lived in friendless torment, is now surrounded by love. Divēs, who on earth had
everything he wanted, now lives in hell. This is why Jesus, especially in Luke’s gospel,
emphasizes simplicity and repentance. If we can break our self-indulgent habits in this
life, then we will be welcome at a magnificent feast in the next.

If Divēs committed any sin, it was that of indifference to the tormented man lying
at his door. I remember in a previous job walking past a homeless man every day. The problems he had seemed far beyond anything I could help with, and so every day I walked right by him. Then one Lent I decided I would at least introduce myself and we started to chat a little every morning after that. I never gave him any money, but my chat with him became one of the bright points in my morning. My relationship with him helped me understand the problem of homelessness in my city, and helped me find ways I could actually help him and others.

As we read this week’s gospel, then, let us take up Jesus’ twofold challenge, first to live lives of humble simplicity, and second to overcome the temptation to indifference.

—Fr. Michael Simone, S.J. is beginning his ministry as instructor in Old Testament Studies at the Boston College School of Theology and Ministry


Please share the Good Word with your friends!

Luke 16: 19-31

“There was a rich man who was dressed in purple and fine linen and who feasted sumptuously every day. And at his gate lay a poor man named Lazarus, covered with sores, who longed to satisfy his hunger with what fell from the rich man’s table; even the dogs would come and lick his sores. The poor man died and was carried away by the angels to be with Abraham. The rich man also died and was buried. In Hades, where he was being tormented, he looked up and saw Abraham far away with Lazarus by his side. He called out, ‘Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus to dip the tip of his finger in water and cool my tongue; for I am in agony in these flames.’

But Abraham said, ‘Child, remember that during your lifetime you received your good things, and Lazarus in like manner evil things; but now he is comforted here, and you are in agony. Besides all this, between you and us a great chasm has been fixed, so that those who might want to pass from here to you cannot do so, and no one can cross from there to us.’ He said, ‘Then, father, I beg you to send him to my father’s house—for I have five brothers—that he may warn them, so that they will not also come into this place of torment.’

Abraham replied, ‘They have Moses and the prophets; they should listen to them.’ He said, ‘No, father Abraham; but if someone goes to them from the dead, they will repent.’ He said to him, ‘If they do not listen to Moses and the prophets, neither will they be convinced even if someone rises from the dead.’”

New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989, by the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. USCCB approved http://www.usccb.org/bible/approved-translations


Please share the Good Word with your friends!

September 29, 2013

Luke 16: 19-31

“There was a rich man who was dressed in purple and fine linen and who feasted sumptuously every day. And at his gate lay a poor man named Lazarus, covered with sores, who longed to satisfy his hunger with what fell from the rich man’s table; even the dogs would come and lick his sores. The poor man died and was carried away by the angels to be with Abraham. The rich man also died and was buried. In Hades, where he was being tormented, he looked up and saw Abraham far away with Lazarus by his side. He called out, ‘Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus to dip the tip of his finger in water and cool my tongue; for I am in agony in these flames.’

But Abraham said, ‘Child, remember that during your lifetime you received your good things, and Lazarus in like manner evil things; but now he is comforted here, and you are in agony. Besides all this, between you and us a great chasm has been fixed, so that those who might want to pass from here to you cannot do so, and no one can cross from there to us.’ He said, ‘Then, father, I beg you to send him to my father’s house—for I have five brothers—that he may warn them, so that they will not also come into this place of torment.’

Abraham replied, ‘They have Moses and the prophets; they should listen to them.’ He said, ‘No, father Abraham; but if someone goes to them from the dead, they will repent.’ He said to him, ‘If they do not listen to Moses and the prophets, neither will they be convinced even if someone rises from the dead.’”

New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989, by the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. USCCB approved http://www.usccb.org/bible/approved-translations

Indifference or … ?

Usually Jesus gives his parables a very short introduction. For example, one of
his longest parables, the Good Samaritan, gets to the point very quickly: A man was
going down from Jerusalem to Jericho, when he was attacked by robbers. Today’s
parable, however, has a lengthy wind-up pitch.
Jesus wants to make sure we see the rich man and Lazarus very clearly in our mind’s eye.

He is trying to tug at our hearts; he wants us to feel compassion for Lazarus, even as he shows us clearly how the rich man (traditionally nicknamed “Divēs”) lived his life. And when Jesus points out that Lazarus spent his days begging at Divēs’ front door, I think he is hoping we feel a little shocked at the close proximity of two people we would normally view so differently.

It is clear that Jesus – at least Luke’s Jesus – believes the afterlife to be a place a
reversal (Woe to you who eat your fill now! You will be hungry!! Luke 6:25). Lazarus,
who lived in friendless torment, is now surrounded by love. Divēs, who on earth had
everything he wanted, now lives in hell. This is why Jesus, especially in Luke’s gospel,
emphasizes simplicity and repentance. If we can break our self-indulgent habits in this
life, then we will be welcome at a magnificent feast in the next.

If Divēs committed any sin, it was that of indifference to the tormented man lying
at his door. I remember in a previous job walking past a homeless man every day. The problems he had seemed far beyond anything I could help with, and so every day I walked right by him. Then one Lent I decided I would at least introduce myself and we started to chat a little every morning after that. I never gave him any money, but my chat with him became one of the bright points in my morning. My relationship with him helped me understand the problem of homelessness in my city, and helped me find ways I could actually help him and others.

As we read this week’s gospel, then, let us take up Jesus’ twofold challenge, first to live lives of humble simplicity, and second to overcome the temptation to indifference.

–Fr. Michael Simone, S.J. is beginning his ministry as instructor in Old Testament Studies at the Boston College School of Theology and Ministry

Prayer

Lord, give us the grace to embrace the truth that God is in every person’s life. Even if that life has been a disaster – destroyed by vices, drugs, or anything else. Help us to remember that although a person’s life is a land full of thorns and weeds, there is always a space in which the good seed can grow. Above all increase our trust in this promise: While we can forget about you, your Spirit never, ever forgets about us.

America, adapted from an interview with Pope Francis, September 30, 2013


Please share the Good Word with your friends!