September 25, 2016

C44: The Nineteenth Sunday after Pentecost, Year C (2016)

Michael Renninger

“You didn’t even notice me!” the voice shouted. However, Father Michael Renninger, pastor of St. Mary’s Catholic Church in Richmond, Virginia, couldn’t tell from where the voice came. Having left a beautiful service at church, talking about the wonderful baptisms they’d just witnessed, he and his friends were careful to walk around what looked like a pile of trash on the sidewalk. But that pile of trash turned out to be a person, a person who was hungry and wanted help. He didn’t notice. Renninger reminds us that today’s passage from Luke 16:19-31, the parable of the Rich Man and Poor Lazarus, should not be used to justify the suffering of the poor at the hands of the rich nor that wealth buys a one-way ticket to hell. Renninger says, “I think that the rich man’s sin was that he just didn’t notice…” Renninger asks, “Do we notice? Do we really see the burdens that our neighbors are carrying? Do we want to see what other people are dealing with?” What is God calling you to notice in your life and how might noticing make a difference?

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