I continue to be inspired when I notice how you, our parishioners, willingly step forward to help out our parish. In just these past few weeks for example, I am mindful of how you give of your time and talent by saying “yes” to helping out when asked. Ushers keep coming every weekend to help with the chores of the Mass; folks who are asked to take up leadership positions even though they are busy say “yes;” folks have helped poor people set up their apartments after having lived on the streets. I can go on and on in providing countless examples of how you say “yes” to helping others without seeking recognition or reward. As I reflect upon your beautiful spirit of outreach, I see God’s hand at work in the hearts of so many of you. God is placing His grace and love into your hearts which prompts you to notice your neighbor in need. The key word here is that you notice. Holy people notice, which shows that God is within them. In today’s Gospel story about the rich man (named “Dives”) and the poor man (“Lazarus”), Dives does not notice the hunger and need of Lazarus. This is his sin. Dives was blessed with many good things in life: wealth, food, beautiful clothing, and much security and prosperity. When the poor man covered with sores came to his table, the rich man hardly noticed him. Not a welcome, a look of pity, nor any reaching out to help him. All Dives had to do was smile and give some bread. But he chose instead to let the crumbs of food simply fall off his table. He was so insensitive that it didn’t matter if the dogs or Lazarus ate the crumbs! The parable continues that when the day of reckoning came to both men at the end of their lives, they stood before the judgment seat of God who sends Abraham as His representative. The poor man receives eternal happiness while the rich man receives the opposite. When Dives asks why he is receiving his torment, Abraham answers: “Because you did not notice your brother Lazarus in his need.” So, the lesson for today’s reading is quite clear: as followers of Jesus, we are called to notice what others need and to respond to that need as best we can. Our Catholic faith teaches us that we must be disciples of the Lord. There is no such word as “volunteering” in the Catholic faith. The reason is that to be a volunteer means you can choose to say either yes or no to helping someone in need. As disciples of Jesus, however, we have no choice. We are obligated to help out because of our faith, either we are disciples of Jesus, or we are not His disciples. So, let’s applaud all you disciples who respond by noticing others in need and offering a helping hand!!      ~Fr. John

Parish Office

14 Elm Street
Manchester, NH 03103
Phone: (603) 622-5445