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

Thu, 03/01/2018
Rev. Msgr. Donald Enzweiler

Suffering.  Today’s gospel has to do with suffering.
Lazarus is suffering in many ways.
He is hungry.  He is hurting and in physical pain.  He is lonely.  He is unwanted.  He is helpless.
It is hard for me to imagine how much he is suffering.
The rich man, on the other hand, is not suffering at least in any measurable way.
The rich man is comfortable.
His life is surrounded by bounty.
His life is tranquil and pleasant and peaceful.
He has everything he wants and needs.
It seems to be a life of bliss.  He seems to be happy.
It’s like he’s living in paradise.
Truth be told:  I don’t like suffering.
I don’t like feeling physical or psychological or spiritual pain.
I don’t like being uncomfortable.
And at times I purposely avoid others who are suffering…
especially when I can’t do anything to alleviate their suffering.
I am healthy.  I am blessed in many ways.  There isn’t a great deal of suffering forced upon me
as far as matters that are outside my control.
For this reason, for the sake of being a true disciple of Jesus Christ,
I must deliberately choose to turn away from comfort and to turn toward suffering.
Not purposely inflict pain upon myself, but I must choose to enter into uncomfortable
situations and circumstances.
When we were baptized, we were baptized into the redemption of Christ.
When we were baptized, we were baptized into his death.
It is dying with him and rising with him, it is sharing in his sufferings,
it is becoming like him in his death
that we attain and share in his resurrection from the dead.
According to the pattern of the Paschal Mystery,
suffering and Salvation are intimately connected.
Somehow our Christian lives have to entail suffering.  It could be our own suffering.
But today’s Gospel instructs us:
our concern about the suffering of others has ramifications for our salvation.
If the suffering of others does not trigger some type of loving response in us
then we are bound to share in the rich man’s eternal fate.
Realistically, it isn’t possible for us to alleviate all the suffering we see in others.
But to do nothing is to follow the example of the rich man
who in the end is denied eternal happiness in God.
As we look at the crucifix we see the greatest sign of God’s love for our world.
Jesus Christ suffered and died for our sins.
Suffering and Christian love go hand in hand.
Suffering can bring forgiveness to a multitude of sins.
Today’s prayer:  “O Lord, give us the strength and courage to turn toward instead of away from the suffering of others.  Give us loving hearts so as to bring whatever comfort we can to the afflicted in fulfillment of our Christian duty.  Amen!”