Twenty-Sixth Sunday in Ordinary Time

In this weekend’s Gospel, we hear another parable from Jesus. It would be easy to take this parable literally and start analyzing how we need to monitor our own interactions with the poor to earn our reward in heaven. We always need to have concern for the poor, but parables are always asking us to dig deeper and examine ourselves. How are we blinded to what Jesus is calling us to? If we look inside ourselves, we all put up gates or have divisions, like in the parable. Where are the gates in our hearts that divide us from our neighbors, enemies, and even God? How do we separate ourselves from others, rather than seeing the similarities?

We can see ourselves on both sides of this parable: the rich man when our lives are filled with great joy and abundance, as well as Lazarus who is in despair and great need. We are more alike than we are different. What are we being asked today? To fill those divides and tear down the gates in our hearts! Love our neighbor as ourselves (and love ourselves too) and treat one another as being created in the image and likeness of God. What gates and divides need to be examined and eliminated in your heart this day?