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March 17, 2022

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DG BookGospel: Luke 16:19-31
Once there was a rich man who dressed in purple and fine linen and feasted every day. At his gate lay Lazarus, a poor
man covered with sores, who longed to eat just the scraps falling from the rich man’s table. Even dogs used to come and
lick his sores. It happened that the poor man died, and angels carried him to take his place with Abraham. The rich man also

died, and was buried. From the netherworld where he was in torment, the rich man looked up and saw Abraham afar off, and with him
Lazarus at rest. He called out, ‘Father Abraham, have pity on me, and send Lazarus, with the tip of his finger dipped in water, to cool my
tongue, for I suffer so much in this fire!’ Abraham replied, ‘My son, remember that in your lifetime you were well-off, while the lot of Lazarus
was misfortune. Now he is in comfort, and you are in agony. But that is not all. Between your place and ours a great chasm has been fixed,
so that no one can cross over from here to you, or from your side to us.’ The rich man implored once more, ‘Then I beg you, Father Abraham,
send Lazarus to my father’s house, where my five brothers live. Let him warn them, so that they may not end up in this place of torment.’
Abraham replied, ‘They have Moses and the prophets. Let them listen to them.’ But the rich man said, ‘No, Father Abraham; but if someone
from the dead goes to them, they will repent.’ Abraham said, ‘If they will not listen to Moses and the prophets, they will not be convinced, even
if someone rises from the dead.’”

 

Reflection:

 

Abraham’s words about crossing over the chasm
are strange. Well, we can understand, with genuine
empathy, someone from the burning netherworld wanting to
cross over to a place of heavenly bliss. But Abraham speaks of
someone crossing over from his side to the netherworld! Who,
in good sense, would want to cross over from a heavenly place
to the fires of the netherworld? The saints would! Didn’t Mother
Teresa say, “I will continually be absent from heaven, to light
the light of those in darkness on earth”? If they could help one
soul from hell to reach heaven, they would risk their heaven to
jump into hell. In this, they are simply imitating their Master,
who descended to hell after his death. Here lies the difference
between us, ordinary Christians, and saints: Whereas we are
obsessed with saving ourselves, the saints are “hell-bent” on
saving others!

 

 

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