Who is the Lazarus among us?
Our newest saint, Mother Teresa, recognized him in alleys and gutters:
“The outcasts, those who are rejected, the unloved, prisoners, alcoholics, the dying, those who are alone and abandoned, the marginalized, the untouchables and lepers, those in doubt and confusion, those who have not been touched by the light of Christ, those starving for the word and peace of God, sad and afflicted souls.”
Like Lazarus in the parable, the poor thirst for water. But the new Lazarus, St. Teresa reminds us, also thirsts “for peace, truth and justice. The poor are naked and need clothing, but also need human dignity and compassion for those who sin. The poor have no shelter and need shelters made of bricks, but also need a joyful heart, compassionate and full of love. They are sick and need medical attention, but also a helping hand and welcoming smile.”
In other words, the Lazarus among us needs not only God’s mercy, but ours as well.
The psalmist knew this in his darkest hour when he sang, “Your mercy is better than life itself.” (Psalm 63)
St. Augustine, too, confessed, “On your exceedingly great mercy, and on that alone, rests all my hope.”
Our prayer today: Jesus, help us always be wholehearted in showing mercy to the needy among us, just as you shower us with the full measure of your love.