Sin of Ignorance

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Come and See 26

26th Sunday Ordinary Time C

Luke 16:19-31

The chapter 16 of Luke’s gospel reminds us of how money is to be used in an intelligent way and “how to avoid being led by it into catastrophe.”[1] There are two characters in the parable today. “The rich man usually called Dives which is Latin for rich…. The poor man [which] the name is the Latinized form of Eleazar and means God is my help.”[2]

On the one hand, the parable describes Dives’s life as a man who enjoys party and wears expensive robes. His life is luxury every single day. On the other, Lazarus is a poor man who is waiting for the crumbs that could be thrown from Dives’ table. He is totally helpless.

What was the sin of Dives? He had not ordered Lazarus to be kicked out of his house. He “allowed” Lazarus at his gate to wait for thrown food. He had not spoken cruelly to Lazarus. However, “the sin of Dives was that he never noticed Lazarus… It was not what Dives did that got him into jail; it was what he did not do that got him into hell.”[3]

* * *

We can read this parable in a contemporary time. The parable demands our attention to our daily lives. Like Dives, we can sin if we do not feel answering to the poor and the neglected around us. We can sin if we just look at them on the street, on TV, on papers and do nothing about them. Our ignorance can lead us to a punishment not because we commit something wrong, but because we never notice to those victims.

We are invited to live beyond worldly concept. We are called not live in boundary of what we have learned from social standard, but from Gospel’s standard. Sin can be neither avoid the bad nor do justice that you should do.

* * *

Lord, give me courage to share with the poor even in the midst of economic crisis. In you, I will be fulfilled.

[1] Days of the Lord, Vol 6, Year C. (Minnesota: The Liturgy Press), 237.

[2] See William Barclay, The Gospel of Luke (Kentucky: WJK, 2001), 253.

[3] Barclay, 254.

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