2nd week in Lent, Thursday – 12th March 2020 – Luke 16,19-31
Great challenges for living
The parable of Lazarus and rich man neither depict a reversal of fortune – blessedness is not the opposite of luxury, nor does it intend to teach an explanation about the afterlife. To understand the meaning, we should turn to the three responses of Abraham denying the rich man’s requests to send Lazarus (Lk 16,24.27). Abraham, gently and firmly, refuses each of the rich man’s requests. He even calls him ‘son’, making clear that being a child of Abraham is no guarantee of salvation. Abraham doesn’t send Lazarus to help the rich man, because even in the torments he is very selfish, wanting to lessen his agony and worried about saving his five brothers. In his reply, Abraham emphasizes twice that they already have Moses (law) and the prophets (16,29.31) to listen to them. He invites us, primarily, to pay attention to God’s word and manifest his compassion. Indeed to listen to sacred Scripture and then to practice mercy are the great challenges that lie before us in this life. They are the greatest signs than being raised from the dead.