Reflection on the 26th Sunday in Ordinary Time
(Sept. 25, 2016)
By: Fr. Emil Valeza
The “Great-er Chasm”
The advancement of our technology today has rapidly changed the world. In communication technology alone, barriers that divide people such as distance, space and time have been broken. Because of the internet, the social media and highly advanced telecommunication devices, people can easily connect now with one another with so much ease. Exchange of information has never been this fast; it is only ‘one click away’. But then again, do we really believe that our lightning-speed communication and highly advanced technologies really help us connected with one another? Or did we just create an even thicker wall to isolate ourselves from one another, or a “greater chasm” that distances ourselves from others, especially the poor, so that we could never be disturbed from our comfort?
The answer greatly depends on us, users of our modern technology. No matter how advance our technologies could become, we have to remember that they can only serve their rightful purpose if we will use them wisely and responsibly. Just like in using the riches that God gives to us; they could make us or break us, depending on how we use them.
Our gospel reminds us of this, we need to use the riches that we have in order to help one another. We have to be sensitive to the needs of others especially for the people like Lazarus (“God is my help”), ‘the lost, the least and the last’, the people who are in dire need of our immediate help. The rich man in our gospel, who was unnamed, could be anyone of us. We could be like him who had become too concerned with the comfort and joys of this world and did not want to be bothered anymore by others; who became too selfish to provide the basic needs of Lazarus, too lazy to take care of his wounded and helpless neighbor.
Let us take it as a stern warning, from a man who used unwisely and selfishly the blessings that God has given to him: let us always be sensitive to the needs of others and always be willing to help generously. Rather than “building a chasm” that separates us from one another, let us build a bridge that connects us, a bridge of kindness and love. In this way we can live out the words of St. Paul in our Second Reading today, to ‘strive to be holy and godly; to live in faith and love, with endurance and gentleness’ [with one another].
Let us break the barrier of selfishness and destroy the chasm of insensitivity. Let us build a bridge of kindness and love that keeps us connected to one another. Amen.