Homily for 26th Sunday in Ordinary Time (Year C)
September 25, 2022
Sacred Heart, EGF: Saturday, 5:00 PM
St. Francis, Fisher: Sunday, 8:00 AM
Holy Trinity, Tabor: Sunday, 10:00 AM
Focus: Christ is in the scraps.
Function: See the scraps.
Small pieces of something, especially things that are left over after the greater part has been used.
A scrap of paper.
A bit of bread.
Lazarus would have gladly eaten his fill of the scraps that fell from the rich man’s table.
The rich man would not have lost anything by throwing Lazarus some scraps.
But he didn’t see him.
He didn’t notice Lazarus any more than he noticed the scraps that fell from his table.
An old, discarded, or rejected item.
Lazarus was scrap to the rich man. Worth no more than the bits of food that fell from his table.
He wasn’t worth his time. He wasn’t worth noticing.
So he scrapped him. He left him lying at his door just like he left the food lying under his table.
Someone else will clean it up. Someone else will take care if it.
He scrapped Lazarus.
The lesson of the gospel:
If you don’t want to be scrapped, then notice the scraps.
Scrap has value.
Scrap metal. Left over parts from a big project can be recycled and used for another project. One man’s trash is another man’s treasure.
Lazarus was trash to the rich man, but he was treasured by Christ.
Lazarus is the only person in a parable of Christ to be named.
Lazarus is not expendable to Christ. He is not nameless. He is not unnoticed.
No, he is a friend. He has a name.
Jesus wept over Lazarus when he had died.
Jesus wept over the one who was scrapped.
The rich man was indifferent to him, but Jesus loved him.
The scraps who fall from the table of life may seem like scraps to me but they are sons to someone else.
Brothers and sisters,
Who is the Lazarus lying at your door?
Perhaps it is the lonely Lazarus who wants a scrap of your time.
Perhaps Lazarus is in your own home, longing for a scrap of attention or concern.
Perhaps Lazarus is in your own heart, silently pleading for the scrap of a whispered prayer of repentance so that Jesus can call him by name, call him once again to life, saying “Lazarus, come out!”
Who is that unsightly person in your life that you can’t help but notice, even though perhaps you would rather not notice him?
That person is Lazarus.
The rich man didn’t see Lazarus lying at his door.
But when he needed him, his eyesight suddenly improved, he saw him from across the chasm.
It was too late for the rich man. But it was not too late for his brothers.
It is not too late for us.
Send Lazarus…send him to my father’s house, for I have five brothers, so that he may warn them…if someone from the dead goes to them, they will repent.
Lazarus has been sent.
Christ, died, buried, and risen from the dead, has been sent.
He has been sent to warn us:
Whatever you do for the least among you, you do for me.
Whatever you do not do for the least among you, you do not do for me.
Jesus sees the scraps.
He sees Lazarus.
Brothers and sisters, there is still time for us. We can see him too. Put on the mind and heart of Christ and look around you. The scraps are everywhere.
We come now to this altar. The richest and most scrumptious banquet that satisfies every longing of the heart. God himself spreads the table before us.
Scraps fall from the table of heaven.
A bit of bread
A sip of wine
He sees you, Lazarus.
He sees you, lying at his table.
Christ is in the scraps that fall from this altar.
He is in the scraps out there, too.
He sees you.
Now, go and see him in the world.