God is love and He is the center of our lives. Without God, there will be no us. Our story as Christians, is a story of love - love of God in making us in his image and likeness; the love of God in sending us his only begotten Son for salvation and redemption; the love of Jesus dying on the cross for our sins; the love of God in sending us the Holy Spirit with his gifts to sanctify and illumine us; the love of God in giving us the Catholic Church to bestow his blessings, graces and mercies upon us through the Sacraments. So our lives as Christians is a life centered on God and love. Hence, God through his love has made love of supreme importance in our lives as Christians. Why? Because Love is the greatest commandment, that is why love of God and neighbor is the summary of the Ten Commandments as the first three commandments emphasize the love of God and the remaining seven commandments talk about love of neighbor.

So why are we talking about love today? We are talking about love today because of the story of the rich man, Dives and Lazarus as we heard in today’s gospel reading from Luke 16:19-31. Dives’s actions when he was alive showed his lack of love for his neighbor Lazarus. Prophet Amos in our first reading (Amos 6:1a, 4-7) also condemned the lack of love shown by the wealthy Israelites to their poor. What stops us from loving our neighbors today? What hinders us from sharing the love of God which we should have in us with our brothers and sisters in our world today? There are three reasons that might be the cause of our lack of love today. We fail to show the love of God in our world today because of:

  1. Omission - the action of excluding or leaving out someone. We leave out and exclude people from our lives because we don’t like them due to their looks, race, status, culture etc. That might have been the reason why Dives the rich man in the gospel reading ignored Lazarus.
  2. Laziness - the quality of being unwilling to work or use energy or practicing idleness. We have become very unwilling to work hard in our spiritual lives by not practicing the corporal and spiritual works of mercy.
  3. Ingratitude - forgetfulness of or poor return for kindness received, ungratefulness or a discreditable lack of gratitude. We have failed to be thankful and grateful to God by being charitable and loving to others.
So my brothers and sisters in Christ, let us strive to be better disciples of Christ today by loving our neighbors and by being charitable to them because we are truly blessed and loved by God.