They Have Moses and The Prophets, Let Them Listen to Them.

09-25-2022Weekly ReflectionFr. Manasseh Iorchir, VC

We often think of sin as the evil that we do, the uncharitable words that we say and the evil thoughts that we cultivate in our hearts. What we leave out most times is the good that is within our competence, which we know, yet fail to do. When we attempt an examination of conscience, the failings that readily come to mind are the things we did which our good conscience rightly judges as inconsistent with Divine precepts and so, offensive to His Holy will and to our neighbor.

Hardly do we accuse ourselves of procuring deficits in benevolence, even when we consider a few of such omissions, we are often quick to find self-exonerating excuses. Knowledge of our faith tells us that sin is sin and culpability persists even if we choose to live in denial.

The First Reading this weekend condemns the flagrant display of opulence by the wealthy in the face of palpable poverty. God is not against the lawful enjoyment of the fruit of our labor; however, he despises the selfish dissipation of wealth without regard for the less fortunate. Equitable distribution of the earth’s resources and God’s blessings is always consistent with Divine justice, while the senseless hoarding and selfish dissipation of wealth constitutes a grievous infringement of His commandments, the commandments St. Paul encourages Timothy, and by extension every Christian, to keep without stain or reproach in the Second Reading.

In the Gospel, Jesus invites us to reflect on the sin of omission when He told the parable of the rich man and Lazarus. Nowhere in the story is the rich fellow condemned to hell for committing grievous infringements like murder, theft, lying, idolatry or the like. Rather, he went to hell simply because he failed to do the good that he had the capacity and was expected to do. He had Lazarus at his gate so that he could lend a helping hand from his abundance, he saw the need to help yet refused to help. Unfortunately, this man’s sin of omission is a familiar weakness many of us are battling with. We see the good we need to do; we can even be aware of our capacity to do it if we will, yet we don’t do it or worse, still find excuses why we will not do it.

There are so many Lazaruses clinging to our feet, weighed down by the vicissitudes of life and crying out for help from us: the homeless, the beggars on the streets, the struggling parents, refugees, immigrants, disturbed youth, incarcerated inmates, the struggling Church. Please consider visiting the St. Vincent de Paul office to lend a helping hand to Lazarus. Another way to lift Lazarus is to seriously consider increasing your weekend donations to your Church here at St. Benedict. Your generous donations have enabled the funding of many good works. Just imagine how much more good we would be able to achieve and how much more practical witnessing can be done if we all consider committing to an increased weekend giving to St. Benedict. May God set aflame a generous spirit within us so that we may lift others and grow our Church.

Please be kind and may God bless you.

Fr. Manasseh