Luke 16:19-31 The rich man had everything he wanted and more: fancy clothes, delicious food, big house. The poor man had nothing, only poverty and sickness. After death their situation was reversed. The rich man had nothing, while Lazarus had everything. Death is the equalizer because both the rich and the poor have to die. Therefore, Jesus gave a warning about consequences of our behavior. Notice that eternal life, according to the story, has nothing to do with worship, prayers, devotions. Eternal life is intimately related to how we treat one another, especially the poor. The rich man did nothing wrong. He might not even have been aware that Lazarus was at his door. The story is definitely about the sins of omission, indifference, looking the other way. It is not a sin to be rich. However, being poor is considered by many to be a punishment. Experience shows us that possessions come and go. The amount in the bank does not give us our worth—Jesus Christ makes us worthy of His love. With His love we do not need anything else. Everything is profit because naked we came into this world and naked we shall leave. So the rich man in the story is just as important as Lazarus but neither was aware of their dignity until after death, and the one who lost was the rich man. If only he had known. Would the knowledge of eternal torment have made a difference? Would the rich man have changed his attitude toward Lazarus with a preview of what awaited him? Sadly the warnings were had been given. The Law commanded care for the poor, the orphans and the widows. Which the majority of people interpret to mean “pocket change”. The stuff we do not need is for the poor. To this day the stuff we do not want goes to the poor. Of course, that’s better than nothing. The bins are out for the old clothes. Food drives, especially around Thanksgiving, help many who are on the streets. Our Star of Hope center continues to provide food and basic necessities for hundreds of families. Our Parish stands as an example of generosity and is recognized throughout the Diocese as a generous community. However, when can we say that we have done enough? When can we dismiss our responsibility toward those who have nothing? If only the rich man had known, his future would have been different. The rich man asked that his relatives be warned, because obviously they were like him—indifferent. The answer was “no”. Through the ages, the Word of God has been consistent: “Take care of each other. For I was hungry and you gave me to eat. Whatever you did for the least among you, you did for me.” Seems like everywhere we go, there are people asking for help. Personally, I do not give money, but I will buy food for anyone who is hungry, if they will accept. Our reach out of Emily’s Meals does the same. Star of Hope does the same. The issues we face in our world, our country, our city will not go away over night. Yet, we know that there are enough resources so that no one needs to go to bed hungry. Notice that only Lazarus and Abraham are named in the story. The rich man has no name. The reason is so that we can see ourselves in his shoes. We are that man, who might not have everything, but is certainly not poor. How do we use our possessions? What account can we give of our stewardship? Relationships will always be more important than what we own. The poor are not a nameless group of people, they are individuals with a soul. The face of Christ can be seen when we bother to look. Charity should not done out of fear, but because we recognize all persons, rich and poor, as our brothers and sisters.