This is a story we must have heard many times before. And by now, for the nth time, perhaps we have become numb, unaffected, indifferent. The beggars in our streets are so common we take them for granted. The small children deprived of their playful childhood to earn some money for the family by selling sampaguita flowers around the church makes no difference to us. The garbage collectors ask for some cold water to drink on a hot summer day and we do not even bother. Many times we experience the “rich man” in us. Our hearts have become “stony hearts.” (Ez 36:26) And perhaps, we shall “see” with our hearts only when we find ourselves really poor like Lazarus.
When were those times we felt like Lazarus? When were those moments of the “rich man” in us? As we reflect on poverty in order to jolt us proactively, let us beg for the grace to “see” with our hearts that we may recognize the face of God in the guise of Lazarus and respond with a generous heart.