Week of September 25, 2016

The Sin of Omission:

The sin of omission is an easy sin to commit and one that can keep us from getting into Heaven. Today’s gospel parable is about a rich man and a poor man named Lazarus.  They both die and the rich man is sent to the netherworld to live in torment while the poor man is brought to Heaven to sit at the bosom of Abraham. The rich man is not punished for being rich just as the poor man wasn’t rewarded for being poor.  The rich man was punished for not helping Lazarus. He was punished for hoarding and keeping all his wealth to himself and not using his wealth to help those in need.  Today’s gospel message is that we can not store up all our stuff and hoard it all and look the other way. We need to use our resources to help those in need whatever their need may be.  It could be food, shelter, clothes, it could even be sharing your wealth of knowledge and know-how at school, the workplace.  In other words maybe helping someone who just started and needs help to fit in. The sin of omission is easy to commit because it’s easy to turn our backs and look the other way on those in need and to even feel justified doing so.  We may say, I earned it, it’s all mine, I had to learn the hard way.  It’s that type attitude that can get us in trouble. In the beginning of Mass, for the Penitential Rite, there are choices that the priest or deacon can lead and one is the confiteor where we pray,  I confess to Almighty God and to you, my brothers and sisters that I have sinned through my own fault, in my thoughts and in my words, in what I have done, and in what I have failed to do...Those words, I have sinned in what I have failed to do... This is the sin of omission, the sin of not doing something for someone who needs help...This sin will stop us just like it stopped the rich man from entering Heaven.  So we should pray every morning when we start our day... Almighty Father...grace me with the sight to recognize those Lazarus‘ you place in my path today, the ability to see what their needs are and the courage, desire and ability to help them in those needs... Amen