Sunday Homilies : Twenty-sixth Sunday in Ordinary Time, September 26, 2010

from Father Kevin Laughery, Troy St. Jerome and St. Jacob St. James Parishes, Diocese of Springfield in Illinois. Note: Comments from this page do not reach me; instead, email:

The Podcasts

Each of us wants to be assured that we are properly integrated into the society we believe we are a part of.  Such integration, of course, requires that many people know us by name and are willing to have some acquaintance with us.  We prefer not to be addressed as "hey you."  To be known and called by name means that we have attained a certain level of respect and acceptance within our social circle.

On the other hand, one must also admit that, under some circumstances, being known by name is not much of a compliment.  We chafe under people who call us by name only to order us around.  We know very well that our purpose in life is greater than simply being someone's lackey.  We wish that the imperious people in our lives would develop a sense of perspective and see us as human beings just as worthy as they.

At the beginning of Jesus' parable of the rich man and Lazarus, it is unclear whether these two are acquainted with each other.  Lazarus languishes at the rich man's door; it is conceivable that, even in spite of such proximity, they are strangers to each other.  After each has died, however, the rich man betrays himself.  From his torment in the abode of the dead, he looks across the chasm to Lazarus in heavenly bliss, and he calls out to have Lazarus (he knows his name!) sent to run an errand for him.

Out of all the non-historical characters in all the parables of Jesus, only the wretched Lazarus is assigned a proper name.  We must consider our own habits of learning or failing to learn the names of people, examine our motives for remembering or forgetting, and find comfort in being known by the God who reveals to us our true dignity.

Direct download: KML_2010-09-26_800am.MP3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:20pm CST