I'd like to share with you words delivered by Pope John Paul II during his first visit to the United States. They apply very well to the message we receive from today's gospel where the rich man does not reach out to help Lazarus the beggar. These words were spoken in a homily at Yankee Stadium on October 2, 1979. The Holy Father said:
"We cannot stand idly by, enjoying our own riches and freedom, if in any place the Lazarus of the 20th century stands at our doors.
"In the light of the parable of Christ, riches and freedom mean a special responsibility. Riches and freedom create a special obligation.
"And so, In the name of solidaritythat binds us together in a common humanity, I again proclaim the dignity of every human person.
"The rich man and Lazarus are both human beings, both of them equally created in the image and likeness of God, both of them equally redeemed by Christ at a great price, the price of the precious blood of Christ.....
"The poor in the United States and of the world are your brothers and sisters in Christ. You must never be content to leave them just the crumbs of the feast.
"You must take of your substance, and not just of your abundance, in order to help them.And you must treat them like guests at your family table."
Sincerely in Christ,