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Archives: September 2016
For this Sunday’s readings click on the link below or copy and paste it into your browser. https://www.usccb.org/bible/readings/092516.cfm
The Story of Lazarus and the rich man in this Sunday’s Gospel is very well known. Lazarus was a poor man “covered with sores, who would gladly have eaten his fill of the scraps that fell from the rich man’s table. Dogs even used to come and lick his sores.” When he died “he was carried away by angels to the bosom of Abraham.” The rich man likewise died and “from the netherworld, where he was in torment, he raised his eyes and saw Abraham far-off and Lazarus at this side. And he cried out ‘Father Abraham, have pity on me. Send Lazarus to dip the tip of his finger in water and cool my tongue for I am suffering in torment in these flames.’ Abraham replied ‘My child, remember that you received what was good during your lifetime while Lazarus likewise received what was bad, …………Moreover between us and you a great chasm is established to prevent anyone from crossing who might wish to go from our side to yours or from your side to ours.’” The rich man tried to convince Abraham to send Lazarus to his brothers to warn them, but Abraham replied: “They have Moses and the prophets. Let them listen to them.”
I think there are three things this Gospel tells us. 1. It wasn’t that the rich man refused Lazarus’ request for assistance. Rather, even though he knew Lazarus by name, he didn’t notice Lazarus’ need. 2. The rich man thought only of himself. It never occurred to him to share his wealth with those who were less fortunate. 3. The rich man was in the netherworld, because of the choices he made in this life. In a similar way our choices in this life determine where we will spend eternal life. There are no “do overs” or second chances once we have died.
Our first reading this Sunday shares the theme of the Gospel. Speaking in God’s name the prophet Amos excoriates those who were indifferent to the needy. “Woe to the complacent in Zion! …………… Therefore, now they shall be the first to go into exile, and their wanton revelry shall be done away with.”
We continue to read from the first Letter of Saint Paul to Timothy for our second reading this Sunday. In the section we read this weekend, Paul encourages Timothy to “Compete well for the faith.”
Questions for Reflection/Discussion:
- Have you come to realize after the fact that you failed to notice someone in need?
- Have you ever regretted some of the choices you have made that were selfish or self serving?
- How does one compete well for the faith?
Our building is big and our parish is large. It might feel overwhelming to know how to connect. It’s easy to come to Mass and leave without really getting to know anyone. Some parishioners have shared that they just don’t know how to get involved, or who to call. Are you wondering how to find your way in our parish?
Please know, there is a place for you at the Basilica and we’d love to help you make connections within our parish community. Your involvement and engagement make it possible for The Basilica to carry out its mission and to seek the well-being of the city.
Many people tell us once they got involved as a volunteer, they started to meet people and see them at church. Their initial involvement led to exploring other interests and opportunities, and making new friends. Some described it as a “snowball” effect. Once they got involved, it wasn’t long before The Basilica started to feel like their spiritual home.
The first step? Simply let us know you might be interested in getting involved:
- Contact Ashley Wyatt, our Volunteer Coordinator or if you know what you’d like to do, reach out directly to our staff.
- Check out ways to get involved online at mary.org/volunteer, or pickup a newsletter at church. You can look for current openings that fit your schedule, interests and availability.
If you want to get involved, but aren’t sure what you’d like to try, consider meeting with a volunteer from our Gifts Leadership Team. Their volunteer commitment is to meet with new members and help connect them to opportunities to get involved. You’ll get to know another parishioner, and learn more about the many ways to get involved tailored to your interests and availability.
Want to volunteer for a one time activity? Events and activities come up all year. You don’t have to make an ongoing commitment. We’ll advertise one time opportunities, like decorating for Advent and Christmas, the Parish Picnic, Basilica Block Party, Community Service Sundays and more. All you have to do is sign up when you are free to help. One time events are a great way to meet new people, and for families or groups of friends who want to volunteer together.
Coming to Mass on the weekend, and want to include volunteering in one trip? It takes hundreds of people to make our Liturgies happen. Often, commitments are once a month and happen at Mass or after. You’ll serve with a wonderful team of people and training is provided. Whether it’s helping greet people as they arrive at Mass, serving as a Eucharistic Minister, or helping serve donuts and coffee after Mass, there’s a place for you.
Consider joining one of our many Outreach Ministries, Refugee Committee or delivering Meals on Wheels. We need people to teach our children and adults about their faith, greet visitors at the Rectory, or join a choir. One volunteer team cooks and serves Sunday brunch monthly for our new members. Music lovers enjoy serving as concert ushers. Other volunteers take photos, write articles, and help with graphic design. Groups of volunteers help garden and mow the lawn.
All these opportunities and many more are critical to carrying our mission in the city. Just let us know your interests, and we’ll work with you to help find a fit for your availability, gifts and skills.