Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Today’s text

Luke 16:19-25

There was a rich man who was dressed in purple and fine linen and who feasted sumptuously every day. And at his gate lay a poor man named Lazarus, covered with sores, who longed to satisfy his hunger with what fell from the rich man’s table; even the dogs would come and lick his sores. The poor man died and was carried away by the angels to be with Abraham. The rich man also died, and was buried. In Hades, where he was being tormented, he looked up and saw Abraham far away with Lazarus by his side. He called out, “Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus to dip the tip of his finger in water and cool my tongue; for I am in agony in these flames.”


When do we see, Jesus? What opens our eyes? And to what?

Our blinkered eyes see with crystal clarity when we are consumed by distress, Jesus. Pain and desire sharpen our vision. Quickly, we focus on what we need--or want--to assuage our discomfort. We view surrounding faces through lenses that perceive only what they can do to quell the pulsing insistence of anguish or greed. We see what they can for us.

But do we see the other, the throbbing bundle of needs and fears, hopes and humanity they are? Can we imagine that we may be your answer the unspoken cries of their heart? Can we value them not for what they do for us but for the circle of compassion into which we may enter with them, giving and receiving, sharing the profundity of human neediness and making flesh the miracle of mercy?

How do I see, Jesus? Do the souls of women and men exist only to cool the flames of my body and soul? Or do I see my need and theirs as a holy invitation through which you draw me into common heart, where we might share a common mercy and yearning for the peace of God, your peace, Jesus?

Help me to see beyond my needs to your hope, Jesus. In the needs of others, help us to hear your invitation to a world of mercy.

Pr. David L. Miller

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