While I’m not being consistent about completing the Dynamic Catholic spiritual exercises daily, I have begun reading Genevieve Glen’s Lenten reflection book, “Not by Bread Alone.”. I picked up a copy from my parish on Ash Wednesday. Though I don’t always read the reflections daily, I was taken by a passage called “Later.”
The gospel for the reflection was the story of the rich man and Lazarus. It was one of my favorite stories in my children’s Bible. Lazarus is a homeless beggar who sits outside a beautiful palace occupied by a rich man. The rich man is treated to sumptuous feasts and enjoys a luxurious lifestyle. Lazarus sits outside with dogs as his only friends. Both men eventually die. Lazarus goes to paradise. The rich man goes to hell. The rich man realizes the error of his ways and he wants his living siblings to repent now. Abraham tells him it’s too late.
Often I turn away from doing good works because I’m planning to do them at later times. I have other timelines to meet. I have various deadlines at work and in my job search. I’m always bound by time. I also believe I can do more for others later.
As part of the reflection, I was asked to identify three works of mercy that I keep delaying. I have discussed my struggle with forgiveness.(Spiritual well-check) I don’t give enough time and money to works of service. I grapple with financial management. This year I’ve been better about having a budget and being more practical with my spending. I do volunteer at my daughter’s school and organizations that meant so much to me. But these are not enough. I was supposed to serve dinner at Glide memorial but it was canceled for several reasons. I know I could be doing more for the homeless. My dance sisters have been providing lunch at a homeless encampment. They are doing so because they are women of faith. I need to take more initiative and take part soon.
I have been experiencing frustration, anger, and helplessness this season. Nevertheless, I have many blessings. I should share my wealth through giving my time and money. There’s no later; there’s only now. I don’t want to be like the rich man. I do not want to waste my life on what matters little.