Thursday, February 25, 2016

Reflection: Luke 16:19-31

Thursday of the Second Week of Lent – Luke 16:19-31

Today’s Gospel is the story of Lazarus and the rich man.  This is another story with which we are very familiar.  Lazarus was a poor man and his body was covered with sores.  He begged right outside the door of the rich man’s house.  The rich man was always dressed in fine clothing and ate only the finest food.  Even though Lazarus was present outside the rich man’s house day in and day out, the rich man ignored Lazarus!

These two men died within a few days of each other.  When Lazarus died, he was immediately taken to heaven by the angels to Abraham’s bosom.  Shortly after this, the rich man also died and was buried.  The rich man, however, did not go the heaven.  Instead, he went to the netherworld where he suffered great torment.  By some means, the rich man was able to see Abraham in heaven and surprisingly he saw Lazarus at Abraham’s side.  The rich man was stunned!  How could this be?  Shouldn’t he be the one at Abraham’s side?

The rich man called out to Abraham and begged him to send Lazarus to him with some water because he was suffering great torment.  However, Abraham reminded the rich man that he had received many gifts and graces while he was on earth while Lazarus suffered.  Now however, their positions were reversed: Lazarus was receiving many graces and much comfort while the rich man was the one in torment.  Lazarus was reaping the gifts and blessings that had come from living a good life, while the rich man was reaping the results of the selfish choices he had made in his life.

Today may be a good day to ask ourselves what we are sowing in our daily lives.  Is it love, care, concern, peace, joy, and generosity or is it negativity, self-centeredness, greed, and criticism?  We will reap what we sow.  Which seeds we will choose to sow in our lives today and tomorrow?  Let us be mindful of our choices.

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