Thursday, February 25th – Katy Simmons Carrol
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.’
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.’”
This passage is a difficult one. Jesus used this parable to warn the Pharasees of what would become of their obsession with money. In the end, the rich man asks for someone to go and warn his family, so they will not suffer his same fate. If only he had known, would he have lived differently? Jesus did not live a glamorous life. He lived among the poor, the sick, and the marginalized. Everything he said and did was for them. (For us!) It seems that we can very easily lose sight of this and chase the things that will bring us more money and more recognition; closer to those who are like us and more separate from those who are not.
Pope Francis said, "The culture of prosperity deadens us; we are thrilled if the market offers us something new to purchase. In the meantime, all those lives stunted for lack of opportunity seem a mere spectacle; they fail to move us." Jesus did not ignore the homeless. He did not exclude the outsider. He did not blame the sick. We have what the rich man in the parable asked for. God sent us the perfect example of how to live and love and care for his kingdom. Are we listening?
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