Yesterday’s Gospel describes the plight of the beggar Lazarus saying, “Dogs even used to come and lick his sores.”; I’ve always read that detail as yet another sign of Lazarus’ destitution, and surely it is. Yet, Scripture has a way of speaking to us in deeply personal ways that can shine new light on familiar passages. A few years ago, while on a silent retreat, I was led through some spiritual exercises that got me in touch with some deep “sores” in my life having to do with unfulfilled yearnings (the description of Lazarus in Greek actually indicates his constant, unfulfilled yearning). I also had a dream while on that retreat in which my two childhood dogs appeared and were playfully licking me all over. It was a tremendous consolation! And it just so happened that one of the Scripture assignments on that retreat was the story of poor Lazarus. I’ll never see Lazarus’ dog-lickings the same way again. Perhaps there are signs of destitution in our own lives that, at a deeper level, are also signs of God’s deep love and consoling presence.