At the end of my street, there is a long, slow moving river that runs throughout the city. Of course their is ups and downs, to living near a river, but the biggest downfall us getting all the dear that eat our gardens, the skunks that stink up the street, and the odd woodchuck. When a new family, moved into the house beside mine, the decided to build a fence to keep away the wildlife that is potentially dangerous to their garden.
In todays Gospel reading, Jesus shares with us the Parable of Lazarus and the rich man. The rich man lives selfish, and enjoys his beautiful purple cloth. Sitting just outside his gate is the poor man Lazarus who sits there with sores, and dogs licking at them. Trapped within the barrier of his own selfishness, the rich man, dined wonderfully each night, making sure he was perfectly fine-not worrying about others. He had set up a barrier between him and the real poor world. A barrier between life and death: Rich and poor.
Just like the rich man, we to have set up our own barriers against people and things. Barriers that we build so as not to acknowledge others or their existence. We have built our barriers to prevent ourselves from seeing, others that need help, or seeing that trouble exists in what should be a perfect world. We have set up barriers, in our society, in whom we help, and in whom we talk to.
These barriers create more tension and more hatred and unawareness in our lives. Nothing good can come from social barriers. Nothing. It is simply, a wall we build to separate ourselves from those we do not like- while they are happy, the hatred burns in us. The wall, that disconnects us mentally and physically. The wall that destroys the purpose of bridges and peace. Nothing good can from these walls; it only makes a tension created relationship with certain people.
This past week, I was going to my bus stop, and maybe 50 feet away from me was a visually impaired older lady, whom didn't look the richest, who was going to cross a busy, rush hour, construction filled street. So I left my bus stop, and ran to offer help to cross the hectic street. I helped her across to where she asked me to help her to and then I made my way back across the street to my bus stop.
I don't share this story to brag, but I share it to show to knock down barriers. I had missed my bus to help these women. But it was worth it to see her safely across the street. I share this to show, that at any time someone needs help. And it is up to us to look on the other side of our gate to help others, even when social conduct tells us differently. It is our duty, as a Christian, to take down that wall, of sin and hatred, and connect and forgive.
So on this 26 weekend of Ordinary time, recognize what our walls are, and work to take them down. For there is nothing good of walls. And barriers. God wishes that we connect and be aware in our lives. Let us open our hearts and eyes to seeing who is on the other side of that fence. To see if that person needs help across the street or help building a fence. Let us not be like that Rich Man! Let us Look on the Other side of the Gate and HELP!