The memorial of St. Francis of Assisi is celebrated Friday of this week and is a customary day to bless animals. Join us October 5 at 10:00 AM to have your pet blessed.
What comes to mind with the rise of importance of animals in our culture is how many people have pets and how well they are treated compared to many people in our society. Not only do they have great housing and food, but many pets have excellent health care at the veterinary clinic, often amounting to thousands of dollars. Don’t get me wrong, I love animals. We always had dogs as pets when I was growing up, but it seems we lost the value of humans and people. This is pointed out in our Gospel reading today where Lazarus, the beggar, sat at the rich man’s door gladly waiting to eat the scraps that fell from the rich man’s table.
It would be difficult to find a starker contrast between two people in such proximity as the rich man and Lazarus. The rich man had everything he wanted while Lazarus had nothing. But the contrast is just as great after they died. Now Lazarus has everything he ever wanted, resting in the bosom of Abraham. The rich man has only suffering. The divider between the sides has changed as well. Where there once was a door, which could have easily been opened, now is a great chasm, impossible to cross. How the rich man must have wished he had crossed the doorway when he had the chance.
The rich man lived in the sanctuary of his mansion, ignorant and dismissive of life beyond its wall. Only after he dies does he become aware of Lazarus. Now it is he who is begging the other to relieve his torment. Only when he is suffering does he open his heart to others.
The question is, who in our world do we fail to see who is in need of assistance and compassion this week?
Love, Peace, Joy