Homily: 26th Sunday in Ordinary Time. Reclining At The Side Of The Lord.
In the parable in today’s Gospel, we find Lazarus “resting in the bosom of Abraham. He is in heaven. Yet he isn’t resting in the bosom of The Father. He isn’t resting in the bosom of Jesus Christ.
It has to do with welcoming and hospitality. Abraham is the patron of hospitality. We see this in Genesis 18. Abraham welcomes, entertains, feeds and offers hospitality to three strangers. In the parable, he does the same to Lazarus. Abraham welcomes Lazarus. He offers him rest and peace.
In whom are you resting?
We get beat up. We get crushed. We get worn out. Who is the person to whom you go to rest. Who is the person who offers you peace? What is it that they offer that is so comforting? How did they get that….whatever it is…. that they offer to you that has such a positive, healing, calming effect?
Who is resting in you?
That might be a tougher one to answer. I have heard of numerous examples of people who have offered peace and comfort and rest to others. What I find especially intriguing is when the positive effect on others seems so disproportionate to the effort that a person expended. “I didn’t do anything” someone will say. And yet the effect in another person’s life was profound!
We are all Lazarus. We are all begging to eat scraps. Christ does not want to offer just crumbs. Christ wants you rest on His chest. You can’t offer what you do not have. You cannot offer peace and comfort unless you have experienced if yourself. That is what he wants to offer you.
Where does it come from? How do we get it? It comes through different channels. Sacraments are source #1. Eucharist – partake of it. “Taste and See.” Confession – go!
In the Catechism (#1468) we read,
The whole power of the sacrament of Penance consists in restoring us to God’s grace and joining us with him in an intimate friendship. Reconciliation with God is thus the purpose and effect of this sacrament. For those who receive the sacrament of Penance with contrite heart and religious disposition, reconciliation “is usually followed by peace and serenity of conscience with strong spiritual consolation. Indeed the sacrament of Reconciliation with God brings about a true “spiritual resurrection,” restoration of the dignity and blessings of the life of the children of God, of which the most precious is friendship with God.
Scripture is another source. There are numerous good, helpful, Catholic scripture resources today. I find the OpenBible especially helpful. It has an alphabetical list of topics. choose a topic and it lists the various scriptural passage that deal with the topic in which you are interested. Just read through them. This is not just a book – it is the “Word” of God. It is Jesus Christ speaking to you personally – on the topic that is most important to you – at this moment . lists Or just read it. Open to a chapter and just begin. The Holy Spirit will guide your steps from there.
Community is a source. The Church. The Body of Christ. Bible -reading, daily-praying, Eucharist-eating, Confession-going people who have a relationship with Christ. The people on whose chest you can rest your head.
Prayer. The God of All Comfort speaks to His children. Talk to Him. “Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest (Matthew 11:28). “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves have received from God. For just as the sufferings of Christ overflow to us, so also through Christ our comfort overflows. II Corinthians 13-5: