HOMILY FOR THURSDAY OF THE 2ND WEEK OF LENT.
THEME: The Parable of the Rich Man and Lazarus.
BY: Fr. Diotacious Chikontwe SMA.
*READINGS OF THE DAY*
*FROM OUR FIRST READING*
In our first reading, Jeremiah was sent to a people who had lived in sin and often disobeyed God, leaving and abandoning Him for the pagan idols and gods, persecuting the prophets and messengers that God had sent them patiently and constantly in order to remind them and to call them kindly to repent and turn away from their sinful ways. Jeremiah himself was persecuted, hated and often ridiculed, and even treated and considered as a traitor for his words and actions that were considered as treasonous, as he spoke of the coming destruction of Judah and Jerusalem, that would happen because of the people’s continued sins against God.
*FROM OUR GOSPEL READING*
In our Gospel passage today, we heard the story that the Lord Jesus told His disciples regarding a poor man named Lazarus and a rich man, both of whom had a very different kind of life, with Lazarus suffering all throughout his life with great poverty and physical suffering, while the rich man enjoyed all the bounties and good things that this world could provide. Lazarus, the poor man, sat by the door of the rich man’s house, and no one lifted a hand to help this poor man, even when he had nothing to eat at all. As we heard in the story, Lazarus hoped to eat even the crumbs and leftovers from the rich man’s table, but even that was denied from him. Eventually we heard how both Lazarus and the rich man died, and how they ended up in truly very different fate, as Lazarus ended up in Heaven with Abraham and the saints, while the rich man fell and damned into hell, to suffer for eternity.
The essence of that story is a reminder for all of us that each and every one of us as Christians are constantly being reminded to be faithful to God and to do what the Lord had told us to do, and this includes not forgetting those around us who are in need. We are all called to do what is good, and when we commit things that are evil, those are considered as sin for us. Yet, if we fail to do what we should have done, that is also sin too. That is what we know as the sin of omission, the failure to do what God had called us to do, just as the rich man could have been moved to help Lazarus, even in the smallest things he could. But he chose to look away and to ignore Lazarus, leaving him to suffer all alone and endure a most painful life in this world while he enjoyed his life amidst all the joy and celebrations.
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