This weekend Jesus presents us with the parable of the rich man and Lazarus. Keeping Lazarus at a safe distance, the rich man refused to reach out to touch a person who needed his help. He also would not allow this poor man to touch him. Personal contact with the poor, in its many forms, always provides for personal enrichment. It helps create an awareness of life’s true priorities.
Generally speaking those with considerable means must fight against living merely on the surface, where wealth is easily displayed. Lazarus, on the other hand, had something of real worth to offer the rich man. Unfortunately he only realized this truth after it was too late. The less our hands are wrapped around things or possessions to give identity and meaning to our lives, the more they will be open and available for receiving and sharing. Gratitude leads to generosity. This generosity is not merely giving away, but also being available for receiving others, especially the poor. To receive is sacramental. Attachment to worldly things only leads to our detachment from God.