Rev. Anthony Giamello Pastor, St. John the Apostle/St. Bernadette
Pope Saint John Paul II in Yankee Stadium in New York in 1979, during his first visit as Pope to the United States, said that today’s gospel (Lk 16:19-31) “must always be present in our memory; it must form our conscience.” “We cannot stand idly by, enjoying our own riches and freedom, if, in any place, the Lazarus of the twentieth century stands at our doors.” Almost fifty years ago, Pope Saint Paul VI [canonized October 14, 2018, by Pope Francis] spoke of the campaign against hunger in these words: “It is a question of building a world where every person can live a fully human life…where the poor man Lazarus can sit down at the same table with the rich man.” Christ is the true rich man who has made himself utterly poor for our sakes for He left the wealth of Heaven to enter our spiritual poverty on Earth. He comes to us not only in Holy Communion, though that is, by far, the greatest of His gifts to us, but He comes to us also in the poor. He is the poor man who sits at our doorsteps and on our streets. He hides the wounds of the Cross under those of addiction and poverty. He suffers in all who are poor, needy or abandoned, from the child in the womb to the old person dying alone, from the poorest of the poor to those unjustly imprisoned. What we do to them we do to Him.
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