The Church of Saint Agnes

1680 Dixie Highway, Fort Wright, KY 41011

The Church of Saint Agnes
1680 Dixie Highway, Fort Wright, KY 41011

Saint Agnes School | Contact Us

2nd Week of Lent

Date: 
Thu, 03/16/2017
Author: 
Rev. Msgr. Donald Enzweiler

A callous is a patch of thickened and hardened skin.  A callous may appear on our hands or feet because of repeated use…..tends to protect sensitive skin from damage.
To be callous is to feel no emotion, to have no sympathy for others.
The rich man was callous….felt no emotion toward Lazarus…had no sympathy for his plight.
His realm of concern didn’t involve this poor beggar sitting in front of his house.
The likes of Lazarus were not on this rich man’s radar.
 
Whole groups of people can become calloused.
Organizations become calloused in their agendas….
pushing for this or that possibility
remaining totally oblivious to how others are harmed.
Even the best of people become so focused on their own mission
they become blind to how their words and actions harm others.  This is being callous.
 
To be blind to injustice and to the various ways our society assaults human dignity is being callous.
 
The opposite might be emotional paralysis:  failure to take any action because it might cause someone emotional discomfort.
 
Callousness can be terminal…it can lead to eternal death.
But it is curable.  It can be overcome.
People are not doomed to be callous all their lives.
This is what Jesus was trying to teach the Pharisees.
The Pharisees were the religious leaders of the people.
Why didn’t they confront this rich man about his lack of sympathy?
Because they saw no need to.
They believed that Lazarus suffered because of some sin
and that if he would just repent, God would heal him and restore him.
The Pharisees justified their callousness by claiming that God was callous.
 
Jesus reveals a different understanding of God:
God is compassionate toward the poor regardless of how they came to poverty.
And the parable is crystal clear:
those who do not show compassion toward the poor wind up in eternal torment.
 
Our prayer today:  “O Lord, I repent of my callousness.  Give me new eyes that I may see and a new heart that I may both feel and show compassion to the Lazaruses of this world.  Amen!”