Daily Reflection
March 20th, 2003
Rev. Richard Gabuzda
Institute for Priestly Formation
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Jeremiah 17:5-10
Psalm 1:1-2, 3, 4, 6
Luke 16:19-31

Corrective Lenses

How could he not see?  Lazarus was "lying at his door."  We imagine the rich man having to step over the body of the poor man as he, well-dressed and well-fed, marched into his own home.  He is unable to see, though the poor man is so near.

But, eventually, his sight is restored:  "The rich man . . . died . . . and from the netherworld . .. he raised his eyes and saw Abraham far off and Lazarus at his side."  Though the objects of his vision remain far away, the rich man sees clearly.  Death, the great "equalizer," clears away, like mist, the shallow things that pretend to make distinctions among people.

Why so blind?  Pope John Paul II, in his Lenten message, states: "Surely it is natural and right that people, by using their own gifts and by their own labour, should work to obtain what they need to live, but an excessive desire for possessions prevents human beings from being open to their Creator and to their brothers and sisters."  An "excessive desire for possessions."  If I ask the question, "what do I want?" the possibilities may be nearly endless.  If, however, I ask, "what do I need?" I am grounded in good limitations--then there is room to look, to see, the needs of others as well as my own.

Most probably there is some Lazarus at our door.  Asking what we need, rather than simply what we want, may help improve our sight.

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