17th of March

Publié le 16 Mars 2022

Gospel text

(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.’ Abraham replied, ‘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.’”

 

The Application

I  am personally convinced that God has created us all both rich and poor. The richness that we possese need to be shared and others’ richness will remove our poverty. The more a rich refuse to share, the more the poverty grows. When I say ‘richness’, I don’t necessarily mean, material richness like wealth, rather it’s both spirituel and intellectual, it’s both personal and collective. What I mean is, if I am material rich, I will have less true human relationship. When I have a material poverty, I will be very rich in true and sincere human relationship.  

 

The story of poor Lazarus and the unnamed rich man is a reminder to all those who desire eternal life, a life with God. May man not live alone, but live with his brothers and sisters. May we not despair, for God watches over us.

 

This parable tells us that our God is just and understanding. He accompanies us, not only on earth, but also after death. A consolation and comfort to all believers.

 

To all those who are lost in life, who do not know where and how to get out of it, Jesus directs them to the sacred scriptures and also to tradition. The law and the prophets help us to adjust ourselves to the divine will, and to remain always connected to God, like a branch that is attached to the vine.

 

Action of the day: Identify your richness and learn to share it with others.

“If they will not listen to Moses and the prophets, neither will they be persuaded if someone should rise from the dead.”

 

Fr. Xavier SOBREVÍA i Vidal

(Sant Just Desvern, Barcelona, Spain)

 

 

Today, the Gospel is a parable discovering the realities of man in afterlife. Jesus tells us about the divine reward or retribution we shall have depending upon our behavior.

The contrast between the rich and the poor is very strong. The luxury of the rich and his indifference to the plight of poor Lazarus lying at his door, his pathetic situation, even when dogs used to come and lick his sores (cf. Lk 16:19-21). It all has a deep realism introducing us into the scene.

We might ponder: Where would I be if I was one of the two main characters of this parable? Our society constantly reminds us, that we have to live well, in comfort and well-being, enjoying ourselves, worry free... That we have to live for oneself, without minding others, or at the very best, the minimum necessary to keep one's conscience at ease, but certainly not because of a sense of justice, love or solidarity.

Today, we are presented with the need to listen to God in this life, to convert ourselves and take advantage of the time He offers us. God will eventually call us to account. In this life we risk our eternal life.

Jesus is quite explicit about the reality of Hell and He describes some of its characteristics: the sorrow senses suffer —“Send Lazarus to dip the tip of his finger in water and cool my tongue, for I am suffering torment in these flames.” (Lk 16:24)— and its eternity —“between us and you a great chasm is established” (Lk 16:26).

Saint Gregory the Great tells us that "all these things are told so that nobody may apologize because of their ignorance." We have got to get rid of the old man and be free to be able to love our fellow man. We have to react to the suffering of the poor, the unwell or the forsaken. It would be good we might frequently remember this parable so that it would made us more responsible of our life. We all will have to face the moment of death. And we should better be always ready because one day we shall be judged.

 

Rédigé par JOHNBOSCO

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