Lazarus means ‘God is my help.’
Imagine this scene. A man dies and arrives before the Judgment Seat of God. The divine Judge goes through the Book of Life and does not find the man’s name. So He announces to the man that his place is in hell. The man protests, “But what did I do? I did nothing!” “Precisely,” replies God, “that is why you are going to hell.”
This weekend again the readings challenge us on stewardship. Are we a good steward? I do not remember anywhere in the Scriptures where Jesus condemned the wealthy simply for having wealth. He condemned those who allowed their wealth to make them forget about the God who had blessed them so generously, like the farmer we heard a couple of weeks ago. He had such a great harvest that he had to tear down his barns to build bigger ones and he gave no thought to the eternal life. Or Jesus condemned those who allowed their wealth to lead them into dishonesty like the unjust steward we heard about last week. Or Jesus condemned those who allowed wealth to make them selfish and self-centered like the rich man in today’s Gospel.
The poor man Lazarus was lying at his gate. And the rich man simply couldn’t care less. In the meantime dogs went and licked Lazarus’ wounds. And the poor man died. Of course the rich man did nothing against Lazarus. But he has failed to do a good deed.
We are not told the rich man acquired his wealth by foul means. We are not told he was responsible for the poverty and misery of Lazarus. We are not told he committed any crime or evil deed. All we are told is that he was feeding and clothing well as any other successful human being has a right to do.
Whenever we sin/mistake, we think we commit sin/mistake by our thoughts, words and action. Most of the time we forget, we commit sins of omission. In the prayer “I Confess” we say these words: “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.” This is what happens to the rich man, he failed to reach out and share a little of his blessings with someone in need.
In the first reading, God, through His Prophet Amos, warned people of the coming downfall of the Northern Kingdom of Israel because of its disrespectful, and arrogant treatment of the poor and the needy by the rich and powerful. In the second reading, St. Paul instructs the first century Judeo-Christians to become true stewards of the Gospel of Jesus, the only mediator, by preaching the “Good News” to the gentiles and by including them in intercessory prayers, too.
The first and second reading brings connection with the Gospel story and invites us to reflect on stewardship. There are many Lazarus’ at our own gates, in our own families, and in our neighborhoods. They are the people that we easily overlook, dismiss, or ignore.
Invest for Eternity!
I learned an interesting story about George C. Parker. He was a clever con man who used to convince people that he could sell them the Brooklyn Bridge. They say he sold the Brooklyn Bridge as often as twice a week for thirty years. Now, why would anyone want to buy the Brooklyn Bridge? It’s not like they could put it in their back yards. Well, Parker told his victims that once they owned the bridge, they could set their own tolls. This is a true story. It took place during the 1920's in New York City. Several times the police had to stop the “new owners” of the Brooklyn Bridge from setting up toll booths in the middle of the span.
Now, aside from being naive, and perhaps a bit dim-witted, why would people believe Parker and give him up to $50,000 for the Bridge? This happened because Parker worked hard studying his potential victims. He knew what made them tick and exploited their weakness. For some it was greed; for others it was vanity. “You could rename the bridge after yourself. After all, it would be your bridge.” One man had his doubts and asked Parker, “Are you sure the bridge is for sale?” Parker told him, “Of course it is for sale, didn’t you see the for sale sticker on one of the beams?” And the man believed him!
For those who were a bit more intelligent, hopefully the rest of the world, Parker had set up an office complete with pictures of the Brooklyn Bridge and bogus legal papers. He did quite a bit of work and earned quite a bit of cash. Oh, he also was convicted of fraud and spent the last nine years of his life in New York’s Sing Sing Prison.
In the Gospel passage the rich man wants his money. St. Augustine said, “I can’t believe that this story came from the lips of our Lord.” Jesus tells a paradoxical story about the steward (manager) of the estate of a rich absentee landlord. The rich man heard that his employee was taking advantage of him. The main point is not about the employee was stealing nor reducing the debt that various businesspeople owed his master. The main point of the reading is that the employee was cleaver and wasted no time in planning for a secure future for himself. Jesus wanted to tell us that we need to be as cleaver in planning for a secure future for ourselves: not just few years here on earth, but also for our time eternity.
The first reading from the book of Amos tells us that when Israelites enjoyed prosperity, they forgot about God who blessed them so richly. When they lost touch with God, this led them to its collapse. In the second reading, I Timothy instructs the first century Judeo-Christians to become true stewards of the gospel of Jesus, the only mediator, by preaching the “good news” to the pagans and including them in intercessory prayers.
Jesus said at the end of today’s Gospel, "You cannot serve two masters, you will hate one and be devoted to the other or vice-versa. A person cannot serve both God and Mammon." We need money to operate our family or institutions. We may need to invest money in the market. Our resources are a blessing from God. The question is who has first place in our life/heart? Jesus is telling us today to use the blessings God has given us to help us get closer to God and not let our possessions become a god in themselves. All three readings challenges us to use our blessings - time, talents, health and wealth - wisely and smartly so that they will count for our good in eternity. Our life in this earth is temporary. Eternity is forever.
Have you ever lost something? What do we do? We search for it. The intensity of the search is determined by the value of the lost item. A couple of years ago, I lost my car key. I cannot remember all the bits and pieces, but remember the tension when I lost it and joy when I found it. It was a Sunday afternoon, after all the Masses, had a bit to eat. There were a couple of events taking place that afternoon. All of sudden I cannot find my car key. If I remember correctly, I was planning to go for Chequamegon High School Madrigals. After or before the madrigal, I was suppose to visit someone in the hospital. I was praying and searching for the key. I prayed to St. Anthony. I cannot go anywhere, I am stuck. I remember at the last minute, I found the key outside of the door. It was a moment of relief and joy.
The Gospel presents to us three lost and found stories. The first one, shepherd who loses his sheep. The shepherd goes out to search for the one lost sheep. Second, women loses the coin. She turns the house upside down in search of it. Third, the story of the prodigal son. I would like to call this story, story of prodigal Father who lavishly shares with his lost son. All three stories talk about celebration of joy. In our faith journey, sometimes we may be the lost one, some other times we may be the older brother of prodigal, who is reluctant to accept the fathers generous forgiveness.
I would like to borrow a thought from Fr. Bloom. He writes, many years ago, in England, three men were pouring into a trough a mixture of water, sand, lime and other ingredients. A passer-by asked them what they were doing. The first said, "I am making mortar." The second: "I am laying bricks." But the third said, "I am building a cathedral." They were doing the same thing, but each looked at it differently. And what a difference that made! We can see something similar in the way people relate to their parish, why they give. One person says, "Oh! All they do down there is ask for money." The second person replies, "Well, you have to pay the bills." But the third person says, "I am building the Body of Christ."
Catechetical Sunday is a wonderful opportunity to reflect on the role that each person plays, by virtue of Baptism, in handing on the faith and being a witness to the Gospel. Catechetical Sunday is an opportunity to rededicate ourselves to this mission as a community of faith. Each one of us is a catechist. There are a good number of people who volunteer to teach our faith with our young people. We recognize them and we thank them for their generosity. Audrina Damrow and Andria Schwemmer are making their first Communion. All summer, they were attending the Right of Christian Initiation for Children (RCIC). Our celebration of Catechetical Sunday is made more joyful. I would like to Congratulate Andria and Audrina at their first communion.
Prayer for Catechists
O God, our Heavenly Father, you have given us the gift of these catechists to
be heralds of the Gospel to our parish family.
We lift them up to you in thanksgiving and intercede for them concerning their
hopes and needs.
May we be attentive to the presence of your Word in them, a Word that lifts up
and affirms, calls forth and challenges, is compassionate and consoles.
We pray that our parish family will always be blessed with those who have responded to
the call to share in Christ’s prophetic mission as catechists. May we too be open to the
universal call to service that Christ addresses to all of his disciples, contributing our gifts to
the communion of faith, the Church.
We ask this in Jesus’ name.
Gale Sayers, who played with the Chicago Bears back in the 1960s, ranks among the greatest running back in the history of professional football. Around his neck he always wore a gold medal about the size of a half-dollar. On it were inscribed three words: I am Third.
Those three words became the title of his best-selling auto-biography. The book explains why the words meant so much to Gale. They were the motto of his track coach, Bill Easton, back at the University of Kansas.
Coach Easton kept the words on a little sign on his desk. One day Gale asked him what they meant. Easton replied, “The Lord is first, my friends are second, and I am third.” From that day on, Gale made those words his own philosophy of life.
In his second year with the Bears, Gale decided he wanted to wear something meaningful around his neck, like a religious medal. So he bought a gold medal and had the words I Am Third engraved on it. In his autobiography Gale says, “I try to live by the saying on my medal. I don’t always succeed, but having the saying around my neck keeps me from staying from it too far.”
The story of Gale Sayers illustrates the readings as well as celebration of Blue Mass. We are celebrating Blue Mass to honor and pray for all active, retired, and deceased law enforcement officers, firefighters, and emergency medical personal. We also remember in a special way all those who died on September 11, 2001, all those who did heroic action to save lives and pray for them.
As we remember September 11, 2001, let us try to imagine we were on the ground running to save our lives or running to someone else. What will be our mental and emotional condition? It is hard to explain, isn’t it? It is about call, it is about commitment.
This weekends reading Jesus talks about commitment. He says: “If anyone comes to me without hating his father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters, and even his own life, he cannot be my disciple.” Are we supposed to love or hate? The Lord is not telling us to ignore the Fourth commandment, Honor your father and mother. Nor is He telling us to refuse to see God in others. And He is not telling us to ignore God’s handwork in our own lives. He illustrates the demands of being His disciples. The discipleship demands true commitment to the duties entrusted to us. Maybe we don’t want to leave the security of our home, parents, or comfort of life. The commitment demands sacrifices. We suppose to help one another to face the challenges.
I am almost certain that many of you have stories from your childhood of how you had imagined yourself becoming a police officer, a firefighter, or a medical technician. I remember, when I walk into the daycare, they try to dress-up like policemen, firefighters, doctors or nurses. They like to dress up in the uniforms and act out various make-believe adventures.
Blue Mass is an opportunity to express our gratitude to all those who decide to dress up for our safety, members of the public safety community for their sacrifices and love. As a Price County Law Enforcement Chaplain, I have the privilege to witness many of their sacrifices, and listen to their stories. They are willing to stand between us and all the violence. They’re out there selflessly to serve others. They don’t do it for the honor. We all should say THANK YOU for their commitment!
The St. Petersburg, Florida, now it is known as Times Tampa Bay Times, carried an interesting story about Don Shula, the coach of the Miami Dolphins. He was vacationing with his family in a small town in northern Maine.
One afternoon it was raining. So Shula, his wife, and five children decided to attend a matinee movie in the town’s only theater. When they arrived, there were only six other people present. When Shula and his family walked in, all six people stood up and applauded. He waved and smiled. As Shula sat down, he turned to his wife and said, “We are thousand miles from Miami and they are giving me a standing ovation. They must get the Dolphins on television all the way up here.”
Then a man came up and to shake Don Shula’s hand. Shula beamed and said, “How did you know me?” The man replied, “Mister, I don’t know who you are. All I know is that just before you and your family walked in the theatre manager told us that unless four more people showed up we wouldn’t have a movie today.”
There is a journey we all have to make, a pilgrimage we are all called to undertake, and that is the journey from pride to humility. In our story, here was a man whose reputation extended across the country not only as an excellent coach but also as an excellent human being. It was only natural for Shula to think that the man who came over to shake his hand know who he was. When it turned out that he didn’t, Shula was the first to laugh at himself and share with others.
The readings warn us against all forms of pride and self-glorification. In the Gospel, Jesus talks about a wedding banquet. He says, “When you are invited, go and take the lowest place.” To enter the wedding banquet - and heaven will be a glorious banquet with Jesus as Bridegroom and the Church as his bride - to enter the wedding banquet, says Jesus, "take the lowest place." I know, we, as Catholics, are people of humility, at least when we come to the Church. We definitely take the lowest place. I may do the same, but don’t much choice.
Pope Francis frequently talks about humility. After he became Pope, a reporter asked him, “Who is Jorge Bergoglio?” The Pope responded, “A sinner.” He knows that who we are before the Lord is due to the Lord’s grace and mercy, not due to our own innate qualities.
The first reading from the book of Sirach, reminds us that if we are humble we will find favor with God, and others will love us. The virtue of humility has two aspect: being humble before God and open our hearts and hands for others. The prayer before communion should exemplify our inner mode before God, “Lord, I am not worthy that you should enter under my roof, but only say the word and my soul shall be healed.” St. Teresa of Calcutta was certainly a humble little lady who was a giant before God. She knew what God had called her to do, and was not concerned what people said about her. Jesus says, “When you hold a banquet, invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, the blind; blessed indeed will you be because of their inability to repay you.”
“Humble yourself the more, the greater you are, and you will find favor with God.” Sirach 3:18
Happy Labor Day Weekend!
Someone once said to Paderewski, the great pianist, "Sir, you are a genius." He replied, "Madam, before I was a genius, I was a drudge." He continued: “If I missed practice one day, I noticed it; if I missed practice two days, the critics noticed it; if I missed three days, my family noticed it; if I missed four days, my audience noticed it. It is reported that after one of Fritz Kreisler's concerts a young woman said to him, "I would give my life to be able to play like that." He replied, "That's what I gave.”
The Gospel passage for this weekend is Jesus’s answer to a question asked, "Lord, will only a few people be saved?" The door is narrow. The Christian life is a constant striving to do the will of God as Jesus revealed it. Jesus’s answer to the questions was, "Strive to enter through the narrow gate, for many, I tell you, will attempt to enter but will not be strong enough.” We need to strive because there are forces of evil within us and around us, trying to pull us down.
Jesus surprised his listeners by saying that one's membership does not automatically mean entry into the kingdom of God. You need to believe and live it. Jesus also asserts that many from the gentile nations would enter God's kingdom. His invitation is open to Jew and Gentile alike. Jesus warns that we can be excluded if we do not strive to enter by the narrow door.
There is a story behind the narrow gate. Narrow gate was a small gate built into the much larger city gates of a city. It allowed someone to enter after hours when, for security reasons, the main gates had been closed and locked. The gate was too small to enter with more than a few items. Animals, carts, weapons and other large items had to remain outside the gate until the opening of the main gate in the morning. The night gate for the city of Jerusalem was nicknamed the “needle’s eye”. Jesus doesn’t answer the question regarding how many people will be saved. He was not interested in statistics. His answer was more personal…here’s how YOU can be saved. It is not easy to go through narrow gate. You may have wait or bend yourself. There will be challenges.
There is no comparison here. But there is one thing for consideration: our relationship with God. We have every means to enter the gate. We have sacraments, we have Eucharist, food for our journey: we listen to his words, eat His body and drink His blood. The question is “do we have a strong relationship with him”? Are we ready to face the challenges to build up the relationship?
St. Cecilia Cemetery dedication: As we all know John Wagner served Immaculate Conception Parish, and left gift for parish and St. Cecilia cemetery. Part of his wish was we blacktop the cemetery road and in his memory we place a bench in the cemetery. On the first anniversary of his death, Sunday August 25th at 3:00 pm we will be having a dedication ceremony at the St. Cecilia cemetery. All are welcome.
Thank you: Town of Chippewa provided material and labor to do the edging of new blacktop at the cemetery. We would like to express our gratitude for their generosity. We also like to express our gratitude to Butternut Knights of Columbus for helping with edging of the new blacktop. Thank you to everyone. It looks beautiful.
God is walking around Heaven one day, and notices a number of people in the heavenly streets who shouldn't be there. He finds St. Peter at the gate and says to him, "Peter, you've been remiss in your duties. You're letting in the wrong sort of people."
"Don't blame me, Lord," replied Peter. "I turn them away just like you said to. Then they go around to the back door and your mother lets them in."
August 15th we celebrate Assumption of Mary: a journey that we’re all called to walk: from here to Heaven. This solemn feast of Mary was defined by Pope Pius XII in 1950, but was celebrated in the Church from its earliest days as the Feast of the Dormition, or falling asleep of Mary. Mary received the grace to be body and soul in Heaven along with her son. The other just souls that have preceded us are in Heaven, but they’re separated from their bodies until the Last Day when Our Lord raises everyone from the dead in the Last Judgment. Our Lord ascended into Heaven in glory; Our Blessed Mother was assumed into Heaven.
We know from the Bible, God created Adam and Eve in the image and likeness of God. Catechism of the Catholic Church says, “Man, tempted by the devil, let his trust in his Creator die in his heart and, abusing his freedom, disobeyed God's command. This is what man's first sin consisted of. All subsequent sin would be disobedience toward God and lack of trust in his goodness.”
God gave us second Adam and Eve: Jesus and Mary. If we look at the first book of the Bible, Genesis 3:15, we read, “I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and hers; they will strike at your head, while you strike at their heel.” In the Gospel of John 19:26, we see Mother Mary and Apostle John at the foot of the cross. When Jesus saw them, he said to his mother, “Woman, behold, your son.” And said to John, “Behold, your other.” In the book of Revelation, John talks about his vision. In our first reading for the Mass of the day, Revelation 12:1 “A great sign appeared in the sky, a woman clothed with the sun, with the moon under her feet, and on her head a crown of twelve stars.”
God chose Mary, second Eve, in a special way to bring Jesus, the second Adam, who brings us salvation. First reading for the vigil Mass, from the book of Chronicles 15, we see David assembled people of Israel in Jerusalem to bring the ark of the Lord. Mary is new the Ark of the Covenant. When the old ark was completed, the glory cloud of the Lord covered the tent of meeting, and the glory of the Lord filled the tabernacle (Ex 40:34-35; Nm 9:18, 22). The new Ark of the Covenant, Mary, was overshadowed by the Holy Spirit. The new Ark of the Covenant, Mary was assumed into heaven.
The Assumption of Mary into Heaven reminds us that suffering and trials are also gifts from God. It was not easy for Mary, but she made it. Assumption reminds us of what awaits us if we accept suffering and trials with patience and faith, desiring to help Our Lord accomplish the work of redemption. Let’s pray today that Mary helps us make the journey to Heaven and one day shine there alongside her and her Son.
Philip Arthur Fisher was an American stock investor best known as the author of Common Stocks and Uncommon Profits, a guide to investing that has remained in print ever since it was first published in 1958. He says, “The stock market is filled with individuals who know the price of everything, but the value of nothing."
This weekend reading talks about investment and marketing. What is investment? If you are a business man, you will talk about investing in the stock market. If you are a social worker, you will talk about investing in the people.
Msgr. Joseph A. Pellegrino says a story about a grandmother who pulled out pictures of her three grandchildren, all under two, and showed them to a friend saying, “These are my grandchildren. That one’s the rich doctor, that one’s the rich lawyer, and that one’s the chairman of the board of a large corporation.”
We all look differently at investment. What is the real investment? Do you have one? Fr. Bloom reported from Krakwo, 2016 World youth day. He says, Pope Francis is a big soccer fan and when he mentioned the sport, young people cheered. When he referred to the World Cup, it brought even louder cheers. Then he paused, looked at the sea of youth and said, "Jesus is a greater prize than the World Cup!" Young people stood, raised their hands and gave a sustained cheer.
Jesus is the one great prize. That's what we see in today's readings. In comparison to Jesus everything in this world is vanity. Only Jesus has ultimate worth - and only in him does anything have value. The first reading from Ecclesiastes says, “Vanity of vanities, “All is vanity.” Author Qoheleth’s point is that the only real values are the spiritual values.
In the Gospel, Jesus calls the rich a fool? Jesus is not disregarding his skills and ability to acquire wealth, but rather for his selfishness. Jesus was called the rich fool, because he lost his aptitude to invest wisely. His life was consumed with his possessions and his only interests were in himself. Jesus is not talking against wealth or rich; but he is talking about use of it.
We do need good investments: good financial stability. When you invest, you don’t invest in one company, do you? No, you spread it out based on your research. Because you expect the best outcome. In the same way we also need to invest in our family, community and so on. But we should have God in the first place. Everything else should be the secondary.
The parable in the Gospel is a study of our heart. Where is our treasure? Treasure has always had a special connection to the heart, the place of desire and longing, the place of will and focus. The thing we most set our heart on is our highest treasure. Then a question for us to ask, what/who is our treasure? Does God have the right place in our heart?
Where did you invest?
Fr. Tommy Lee says, “When I was in Florida recently I visited the Kennedy Space Center. I saw Cape Canaveral and the launch site for the space shuttle. In the Space Center I was able to look at and touch a moon rock. Through the miracle of modern science and space travel, I reached out and touched the moon! When we pray we leave this world and touch God.”
Theme for this weekend is prayer. In the first reading, we see Abraham’s intimacy with God. He pleads for the people of Sodom and Gomorrah by talking directly to God and asking God to change his plans. He doesn’t just ask, he is persistent in asking, pushing for more and more mercy each time. It may look like a comical dialogue. Like a little child who keeps asking and asking until they get what he/she wants. On the other hand, God is gentle and merciful.
We see in the Gospel Jesus himself goes to pray: intimacy with his Father. The disciples say, "Lord, teach us to pray just as John taught his disciples." Jesus taught them to pray by using the intimate word “Abba” “Father” to address God. Our Father is a Father who listens to us. He is merciful. Psalmist say that God is true, he has a long memory for His own promises and a short memory for failure to keep ours. We have to trust in his love and mercy.
This prayer we all pray every day. This prayer begins with God, calling Abba, Father; a deep relationship between God and me. Then God’s purpose in my life, “Thy kingdom come and thy will be done.” Then it goes to our needs: “Give us each day our daily bread.” Then we say, “Forgive us our sins for we ourselves forgive everyone in debt to us.”
Then we pray “Lead us not into temptation.” Pope Francis has officially approved a change to the translation of the Lord's Prayer to replace "lead us not into temptation" with "do not let us fall into temptation," which many scholars say is a better translation of the original text. The Pope said he thought the current English translation was not correct because it implies that God leads people into temptation, an action that is against his nature as a good and holy God. "A father doesn't do that, a father helps you to get up immediately," Francis said of the line in question. "It's Satan who leads us into temptation, that's his department."
In the Gospel, Jesus goes on after the prayer, further explaining the intimacy which God longs from us. He tells the story about a man who wants to be hospitable and is asking his neighbor to lend him some food to give his guests. When he doesn’t get the response he wants from his neighbor, he asks again, and again and again…persistence in asking made the neighbor to get up and give what he wants. Then Jesus praises the man for his persistence in asking.
At the end of the story, Jesus reminds us that God is there for us beyond our understanding. Every time we pray we touch God. Every time we come together to celebrate the Eucharist, heaven meets earth, God comes to us and becomes part of our life. Prayer changes us and others to be ready to receive the grace of God.
Prayer can change the course of history. So let us pray, pray, pray. “Ask and you will receive; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks, receives; and the one who seeks, finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened.” (Luke 11:9-10)
The theme for this weekend is hospitality to God. The first reading and the Gospel painted very beautifully the hospitality to God.
Andrei Rublev, the great Russian icon painter, famous for his work in particular with his ‘Old Testament Trinity’: picturing the three angels welcomed by Abraham (Genesis 18 – today’s first reading). Christians see this scene as a prefiguring of the Christian doctrine of the Trinity. This icon is also called ‘Welcome to the Stranger’. The table where they are seated has four sides. There are three seated figures; the fourth is an invitation to join them. Anyone praying with this icon for any length of time will feel that the invitation is somehow mutual: as you welcome the Divine Persons into your heart, they are inviting you to sit at the table with them. They are inviting you into the heart of God.
In the first reading on a hot day, Abraham sits at the entrance. He might have been enjoying the breeze on that hot day. All of sudden he saw the three men and recognized that it is the Lord. Abraham begged God not to pass by, but stay, so he can serve the Lord. Then he ran to the tent to prepare food.
In the Gospel we see, Martha and Mary welcome Jesus to their house. Martha and Mary, both have different styles of hospitality. Mary sits with Jesus and listens, but Martha wants to make sure everything is right for him.
Two aspect of spirituality: first, doing something like Martha and second, siting and receiving like Mary. Martha has become a symbol of action-oriented, responsible people who get the job done. Our world and our parish churches need such dynamic and generous men, women, boys and girls who get the job done. At the same we have to adopt Mary into our life too. The key to the Christian life is SETTING PRIORITIES: Jesus Christ first, then everything else. Active and busy as we are, we have to find time every day to listen to God, to our spouse, kids and neighbors. Listening and quiet caring are essential for the success of pastoral life, married life, family life and the rearing of children with love, affection and sense of discipline. Human love begins at home and it begins with listening.
God is passing by my/your home. Do we invite him? My heart is the place where he is welcomed. Mother Teresa often talked about the God appears in disguise: poor and needy. We need to give attention to see who is passing by us. Abraham paid attention, so he didn’t miss the Lord.