Lazarus waits to die, with dogs licking his wounds, while the rich man feasts and overlooks the plight unfolding right outside his gates.
What was the rich man’s sin? What did he do wrong? His was a sin of omission, of forgetfulness, of blindness to the needs of others; to the needs of Lazarus.
Fr. Michael expounds on this parable, encouraging us to be aware of the poor in our midst and to take meaningful action as a community of faith; to offer hope and support for those whom we would otherwise too easily marginalize and overlook. Look below the video for the text of the poem Fr. Michael reads at the end of the homily: The Gates of Hope by Reverend Victoria Safford.
The Gates of Hope
A poem on hope by Reverend Victoria Safford.
Our mission is to plant ourselves at the gates of Hope—
Not the prudent gates of Optimism,
Which are somewhat narrower.
Not the stalwart, boring gates of Common Sense;
Nor the strident gates of Self-Righteousness,
Which creak on shrill and angry hinges
(People cannot hear us there; they cannot pass through)
Nor the cheerful, flimsy garden gate of
“Everything is gonna’ be all right.”
But a different, sometimes lonely place,
The place of truth-telling,
About your own soul first of all and its condition.
The place of resistance and defiance,
The piece of ground from which you see the world
Both as it is and as it could be
As it will be;
The place from which you glimpse not only struggle,
But the joy of the struggle.
And we stand there, beckoning and calling,
Telling people what we are seeing
Asking people what they see.