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Who is lying at your door?

The Gospel reading for this week (Sunday, September 25, 2022) reminds me of a particularly convicting moment in my spiritual life. I was walking in my hometown's center, listening to music on my headphones. At one point the song "Nothing Else But You" started playing from my playlist. (One version is here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VAZd3EWu8tg)


A quick tangent about this song. It is not from a Catholic source, but the lyrics seem appropriate for Eucharistic Adoration, and sound very similar to a story about an exchange between Jesus and St. Thomas Aquinas. Jesus said, "Thomas, you have written well of me. What reward will you have?" St. Thomas responded, "Lord, nothing but yourself." This exchange is often on my mind when listening to this song.


Back to my story. I was walking along the street, listening and praying, and then I passed a homeless person on the street. He had a sign asking for money. I had none with me, and I kept on walking . . . all while thinking I wanted "nothing else" but Jesus. The German Jesuit theologian Karl Rahner said1 that Jesus looks at us through the eyes of our neighbor. That day, He was looking at me through the eyes of that homeless person, saying, "Nothing else? Yeah, right."


Whenever I hear today's Gospel (Luke 16: 19-31), the story of a rich man with a poor man lying at his door, I am reminded of that moment on my walk. But it has inspired one of the principles underlying Saturday Works: Each parish has been entrusted with the spiritual needs of the people in its community. We focus on serving those right in front of us in our community.


For the challenge for the week, therefore, prayerfully consider this:


Who are the needy in our community, lying at our door?


What should we do to meet their needs?


What distracts us from seeing those who are lying at our door?


How can we remove those distractions?

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