HOMILY & IDEAS

Amos 6:1a, 4-7; 1 Timothy 6:11-16; Luke 16:19-31.

Here are some stones I have overturned to see what ideas are underneath. I hope you can grab hold of something, pull -- and discover that it has some homiletic roots.

I am unable to offer an extensive posting this week; however I would like to offer one particular ÒangleÓ that may preach for you.

The two main characters in the Gospel this week are the rich man and Lazarus.

Depending on where you may live it may be unlikely that you would see the likes of Lazarus laying down in your doorway. Perhaps you may not have had the ÒLazarus testÓ given to you too often. Perhaps you have not been put in the position of the rich man who must either choose to step over Lazarus or stop and help him.

Still, Lazarus sometimes comes to all of us in subtle ways.

However, in these past few weeks one may conclude that Lazarus has been very easy to locate. The tragedies in New York, Washington, D.C, and in Pennsylvania have presented all of us occasions to make concrete choices about a Lazarus who has been very present. He may not be poor and begging, but Lazarus is still in need of prayers, of love, of blood, of financial assistance, of consolation, and of tenderness.

On the other hand, one may be hard pressed to find the rich man who simply steps over Lazarus and walks on during these past few weeks. At this time in our country we have seen example after example of the rich man who, indeed, stops and assists in a myriad of ways.

Many of us have never seen anything like this in our lives -- this kind of universal outpouring of love, concern, sacrifice, and good will.

Unfortunately, Lazarus has been easy to find over these past few weeks. Fortunately, the Rich Man who simply steps over Lazarus and walks on has been difficult to find.

This spirit of love that transcends ethnicities, races, sex, religion, and social class has been beautiful to behold. Our challenge is to continue to be the rich man who stops and helps even though Lazarus may, in the future, be harder to find.

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