4th March, Thursday.Jer 17: 5-10
- Lk 16: 19-31
Theme: Compassion and Sympathy
The rich man lived in isolated luxury, absorbed with the latest in fashion and the finest in dining. He did not hurt anyone: He didn’t run Lazarus off his property. He didn’t mind Lazarus hanging around his table for the leftovers. He didn’t criticize him for not getting a job to earn a living. Then what was the rich man’s sin? He didn’t treat Lazarus as a person. To the rich man, Lazarus was simply a part of the landscape.
Our words “compassion” and “sympathy” come from Latin and Greek roots that mean to “suffer with.” Our suffering makes us more humane and opens us up to the plight of others. Our vision becomes more perceptive of other’s hardships, and our hearts become quicker to respond compassionately. How have I responded to suffering in my life? Has it made me more compassionate or more bitter and self-centered?
Suffering also makes us more zealous for souls, more apostolic. Unfortunately for his brothers, the rich man’s zeal was a “zeal come lately.” Because he spent all his energy and fortune avoiding suffering, he was absorbed in himself. The meaning of his life was completely temporal, and in the end, he had nothing to show for it. One of our greatest sufferings in purgatory will be the realization that we could have done so much more for the salvation of souls.
Bro. John Bosco SMM