Today’s Gospel (Luke 16: 18-31) is a challenge to all who listen to the Word of God. It talks about the ultimate truth of our lives.
What Jesus is telling us in this parable is that being rich alone does not condemn us nor does being poor alone, bring us to salvation.
Lazarus does not do any good work because, simply, he cannot. He sits at the door of the rich man and praises God and accepts his fate without complaint. The rich man does not cause any harm to anyone, but he also does not do any good. He eats, drinks but does not even offer any food or crumbs that fall off the table to those who could use it.
Not to do good work, when you can, and should, is a sin.
There is an old saying, “We enter this world with nothing, and leave it with nothing.”
Today’s lesson is about our attitude towards earthly possessions. It is about our attitude towards people, our brothers and sisters- our neighbours.
We, as individuals, are not God’s possessions, just as we might own a car. People are all children of God. We must all choose of our own will, to belong to God, even though we are all created as his creatures, as is everything else on earth. It would be a big mistake to think that something is “ours”, when it is a “gift” from God. Something we should always be thankful for.
It is true that the riches of this world are not equally distributed amongst all people. But if we realize that everything belongs to God, then, we see that the gifts we are privileged to have, are meant to be shared by us with others.
The whole Christian message always has been that we must share our gifts with one another.
We need the poor, as the poor need us. The church is based on charity.
Sinful people like to keep company with only those who are similar to them. The others, like Lazarus, can easily be ignored.
Jesus does not accuse the rich man of stealing, lying, adultery, murder, or any other sin, except the one sin that he totally refused to recognize, the existence of a child of God called Lazarus.
The rich man’s soul has all the sores of Lazarus’s body, while the soul of Lazarus has all the beauty of the rich man’s body.
Do you find this hard to understand and admit this truth? This point is a real challenge to our Christianity. This is what we were baptized for.
God is not interested in judgement, praise, awarding of medals, or our bank accounts. They all end up in the grave. God is very serious about this teaching.
This lesson is often repeated in other places in the Bible i.e. Good Samaritan.
This is a very important point. We should pray and reflect how it applies to us.
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