Gospel LK 16:19-31
Jesus said to the Pharisees:
"There was a rich man who dressed in purple garments and fine linen
and dined sumptuously each day.
And lying at his door was a poor man named Lazarus, covered with sores,
who would gladly have eaten his fill of the scraps
that fell from the rich man's table.
Dogs even used to come and lick his sores.
When the poor man died,
he was carried away by angels to the bosom of Abraham.
The rich man also died and was buried,
and from the netherworld, where he was in torment,
he raised his eyes and saw Abraham far off
and Lazarus at his side.
And he cried out, 'Father Abraham, have pity on me.
Send Lazarus to dip the tip of his finger in water and cool my tongue,
for I am suffering torment in these flames.'
'My child, remember that you received
what was good during your lifetime
while Lazarus likewise received what was bad;
but now he is comforted here, whereas you are tormented.
Moreover, between us and you a great chasm is established
to prevent anyone from crossing who might wish to go
from our side to yours or from your side to ours.'
He said, 'Then I beg you, father,
send him to my father's house, for I have five brothers,
so that he may warn them,
lest they too come to this place of torment.'
But Abraham replied, 'They have Moses and the prophets.
Let them listen to them.'
He said, 'Oh no, father Abraham,
but if someone from the dead goes to them, they will repent.'
Then Abraham said, 'If they will not listen to Moses and the prophets,
neither will they be persuaded if someone should rise from the dead.'"
+Prayer: Come Holy Spirit, fill the hearts of the faithful and kindle in them the fire of Your Love. Amen
In this story that Jesus is sharing with the Pharisees (and us) we learn of a nameless rich man, and a named, poor man. Its an interesting parable that I am still pondering. As I watch Jesus and listen to Jesus, trying to learn what He is trying to teach, several things hold my heart, but this one sentence is striking: '“My child, remember that you received what was good in your lifetime.”
What the rich man received during his lifetime was indeed good, the home, the food on his table, his clothes, all of these are, in themselves, good. It wasn’t the reception of the gift that Abraham corrects, rather Abraham calls the man to “remember.” To remember that we are children, and remember that we received the gifts as children. To remain cognizant, of the fact that I am a recipient of tremendous gifts and graces every day and these are given to me, not just for me, but for others and I must be generous and willing to put my gifts at the use of others, for this is being truly a child of God, truly grateful to God and truly rich in love. To remember that the “poor” who are very close to me have a name, the Lord calls them by name and loves them, and that this truth gives me a great duty towards them. The good that I receive isn’t to lead to indulgence but to a gratitude that impels me to generosity. I desire to ‘give it away’ because I desire the ‘greatest gift’….the Love of God poured out in abundance~
“For you know the graciousness of Our Lord Jesus Christ-how, being rich, He became poor for your sakes, that by His poverty, you might become rich” (2 Cor 8:9).