Lent Wk 2nd,  Thursday, 16th March,2017  (Lk 16:19-26)

Dear Friend in the Lord,

Selfish Living: In today’s Gospel, Jesus asserted through the Parable of the rich man and Lazarus that those who live only for themselves and not share their wealth and blessings with those in need will have to be answerable to God.  Do you share much of your blessings for the good of those in need?  Have you discovered the joy of sharing?

Fr Philip Heng, S.J

Jesus said to the Pharisees: ‘There was a rich man who used to dress in purple and fine linen and feast magnificently every day. And at his gate there used to lie a poor man called Lazarus, covered with sores, who longed to fill himself with what fell from the rich man's table. Even dogs came and licked his sores. 

Now it happened that the poor man died and was carried away by the angels into Abraham's embrace. The rich man also died and was buried. ‘In his torment in Hades he looked up and saw Abraham a long way off with Lazarus in his embrace. So he cried out, “Father Abraham, pity me and send Lazarus to dip the tip of his finger in water and cool my tongue, for I am in agony in these flames.” 

Abraham said, “My son, remember that during your life you had your fill of good things, just as Lazarus his fill of bad. Now he is being comforted here while you are in agony. But that is not all: between us and you a great gulf has been fixed, to prevent those who want to cross from our side to yours or from your side to ours.” 

As you read the passage what words, phases or meanings caught your attention?

  • In this Gospel reading, the rich man’s punishment is not for having riches but for his sin of omission, for not doing good to reach out to the needs of Lazarus, the poor beggar. 

  • When God has blessed us with wealth in this life, we are to be responsible stewards of it, especially for the care of the poor and needy. When we face God at the gates of heaven, He will ask, “Have you shared your blessings and wealth with others who are in need?”

  • When we give or share our blessings with others who are in need, we are to do so out of love for God; not selfishly to assuage our guilt.