Thursday, March 20, 2014 - Lenten Weekday
Today's Holy Gospel - Luke 16: 19 - 31
19 "There was a rich man, who was clothed in purple and fine linen and who feasted sumptuously every day.
20 And at his gate lay a poor man named Laz'arus, full of sores,
21 who desired to be fed with what fell from the rich man's table; moreover the dogs came and licked his sores.
22 The poor man died and was carried by the angels to Abraham's bosom. The rich man also died and was buried;
23 and in Hades, being in torment, he lifted up his eyes, and saw Abraham far off and Laz'arus in his bosom.
24 And he called out, `Father Abraham, have mercy upon me, and send
Laz'arus to dip the end of his finger in water and cool my tongue; for I
am in anguish in this flame.'
25 But Abraham said, `Son, remember
that you in your lifetime received your good things, and Laz'arus in
like manner evil things; but now he is comforted here, and you are in
26 And besides all this, between us and you a great chasm
has been fixed, in order that those who would pass from here to you may
not be able, and none may cross from there to us.'
27 And he said, `Then I beg you, father, to send him to my father's house,
28 for I have five brothers, so that he may warn them, lest they also come into this place of torment.'
29 But Abraham said, `They have Moses and the prophets; let them hear them.'
30 And he said, `No, father Abraham; but if some one goes to them from the dead, they will repent.'
31 He said to him, `If they do not hear Moses and the prophets, neither
will they be convinced if some one should rise from the dead.'"
Gospel Reflections - [Source:rc ]
In the parable of Lazarus and the rich man Jesus paints a dramatic scene of contrasts -- riches and poverty, heaven and hell, compassion and indifference, inclusion and exclusion.
We also see an abrupt and dramatic reversal of fortune. Lazarus was not only poor, but incapacitated. He was "laid" at the gates of the rich man's house. The dogs which licked his sores probably also stole the little bread he procured for himself.
Dogs in the ancient world symbolized contempt. Enduring the torment of these savage dogs only added to the poor man's miseries and sufferings. The rich man treated the beggar with contempt and indifference, until he found his fortunes reversed!
The name Lazarus means God is my help. Despite a life of misfortune and suffering, Lazarus did not lose hope in God. His eyes were set on a treasure stored up for him in heaven.
The rich man, however, could not see beyond his material treasure. He not only had every thing he needed, he indulged in his wealth to excess. He was too absorbed in what he had to notice the needs of those around him. He lost sight of God and the treasure of heaven because he was preoccupied with seeking happiness in material things. He served wealth rather than God. In the end the rich man became a beggar!