The rich man in our Gospel never lifted a finger to help the poor beggar. He ignored the calls for help. He remained insensitive to the needs of the poor man, Lazarus. He did nothing when a simple word from him would have given Lazarus more food than he could imagine.
The Lord calls us to be sensitive to the poor. It is easy to do nothing in the face of such a problem. It is easy to walk away … we cannot. No longer can we ignore the welfare of the poor, and the varied conditions that cause poverty. The only real solution, however, is you and I. What are we doing, and what can we do, in facing the depth of poverty? The liturgy today gives us a clear and, perhaps, uncomfortable, answer. As the Faith makes clear, this “Eucharist commits us to the poor,” and challenges us to be prayerfully mindful and actively dedicated to the weakest of our brothers and sisters (Catechism of the Catholic Church §1397).
As the causes of poverty are numerous, so also should our responses be numerous. Feed one child. Provide one family with shelter. Give one mother a bed, and a home for her new baby. Create one job. Poverty calls for Christian understanding and action. As a community of faith, we must re-examine our parish commitment to help the poor in our midst. We must exhort all peoples to live out their faith of love, mercy, and justice.