Posts Tagged ‘pray always’

Shaking Us From Our Apathy

Thursday, March 16th, 2017

Thursday of the Second Week in Lent

Jer 17: 5-10; Lk 16: 19-31

Dc. Larry Brockman

How ironic!  First, Jesus tells the parable about the rich man and Lazarus.  And in that parable, the rich man wants Abraham to have Lazarus rise from the dead to warn his 5 brothers that they need to mend their selfish lives.  But Abraham says that if people will not listen to Moses and the prophets, then neither will they listen to someone raised from the dead!  Jesus told that parable for the Pharisees and Priests benefit.  But they didn’t get the connection then, even though the Chief Priest was one of 5 brothers!  

But then, irony of ironies, Jesus actually went on to raise a person name Lazarus from the grave!  You know, Martha and Mary’s brother Lazarus.  And it was in front of the Pharisees and Priests and Scribes, too- the same people the first parable was directed to.  And do you know what the Pharisees, Priests and Scribes did?  They got so angry they actually plotted to kill Lazarus because of his testimony.  Not only that, the raising of Lazarus was one of the things that pushed the Jewish Rulers over the edge  After that they wanted to have Jesus arrested and put to death.

What this parable demonstrates today is just how difficult it is to shake people out of their comfort zone, especially when things are going well for them.  And as a matter of fact, when things are going well, people get angry when someone tries to shake them from their apathy over things that are wrong in this world.  Why, because they just don’t want to hear it.   

This was the case for the rich man; and the Pharisees were not far behind him.  People can either be too comfortable to care- like the rich man; or they have a vested interest in the status quo and don’t want to hear there is something wrong with it- like the Pharisees.   

Boy, do we have that problem today!  Our society has lost sight of evil.  Religious persecution of Catholics, Abortion, Assisted Suicide, Gay Marriage, untreated Mental Illness, Third World Hunger, and a whole host of other evils plague us.  But most of us are too busy and passive about it in our relative affluence.   

One of the things we do is to trust the Government to solve these social problems.  But isn’t that what Jeremiah was preaching against in the first reading?  Isn’t that trusting in man; trusting in secular society?  We have a responsibility to help folks who are in need and to help people see the error of their ways.  But we cannot delegate it away through the Government, especially now when the Government is so secular and when the Government has no way to pay for it.   

There is one thing all of us can do and that is to pray.  That’s what the Blessed Mother continually asks us to do when she appeared to visionaries at Medugorje and other places; and it’s what the Church is asking us to do during Lent.  Remember, we are being asked to engage in Fasting, Alsmgiving and Prayer during Lent.    And what is it that we should pray for.  Lots of things: our enemies conversion; inspiration on how we can deal with and solve our problems; that God will somehow intercede, and perhaps even send us a leader; but most of all, to trust that when we pray, our prayers will be answered.   

Sometimes todays problems seem overwhelming.  But it is then that we should remember Jeremiah’s words:  “Blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord; whose hope is in the Lord”.  So, pray, pray, and pray some more.