“There was a rich man who was clothed in purple and fine linen and who feasted sumptuously every day. And at his gate was laid a poor man named Lazarus, covered with sores, who desired to be fed with what fell from the rich man’s table. Moreover, even the dogs came and licked his sores. The poor man died and was carried by the angels to Abraham’s side. The rich man also died and was buried, and in Hades, being in torment, he lifted up his eyes and saw Abraham far off and Lazarus at his side. And he called out, Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus to dip the end of his finger in water and cool my tongue, for I am in anguish in this flame.’ But Abraham said, ‘Child, remember that you in your lifetime received your good things, and Lazarus in like manner bad things; but now he is comforted here, and you are in anguish. And besides all this, between us and you a great chasm has been fixed, in order that those who would pass from here to you may not be able, and none may cross from there to us.’ And he said, ‘Then I beg you, father, to send him to my father’s house— for I have five brothers—so that he may warn them, lest they also come into this place of torment.’ But Abraham said, ‘They have Moses and the Prophets; let them hear them.’ And he said, ‘No, father Abraham, but if someone goes to them from the dead, they will repent.’ He said to him, ‘If they do not hear Moses and the Prophets, neither will they be convinced if someone should rise from the dead.’”
Comment: Close your eyes and get someone to read this to you. Not in a monotone but expressively and set the words to a painting you’re forming on the screen inside your head.
- At the sumptuously set table – more a feast than a meal – can you see the man from the East dressed in flowing, majestic robes, with his rich cohorts?
- Let the camera swing through the window and look at the guy, barely alive, dressed in filthy rags, begging. Look carefully – see the dog licking off the pus oozing out of the sores on his legs. Even as you watch he dies. Amazing, look! Angels come down and pluck ‘him’ out from the useless body and carry him upwards. The garbage man. picks up the body and throws it into a common burial pit.
- As you can, on a TV screen, flip forward a couple of years and with the crowd wailing, as they do in the East, the rich man’s corpse is carried to a specially prepared cave and embalmed. He is laid to his eternal rest. But keep watching. see, his real ‘him’ is plucked from the corpse and taken to “hades’. My, that doesn’t look a pleasant place!
- Now he can see more clearly. He sees Abraham sitting in the seat of authority and that despicable beggar from his gate, who is in, it looks like, ‘Paradise’. He cries out several times a) “send that beggar to bring me a drink of cooling water – sorry ‘no’. ” b) “send someone to warn my brothers to change their ways.” – ‘No, they already have my law and they can easily read it’. c) “But if they hear some voice from a dead one they will listen.” ‘Sorry, they wouldn’t listen.’
- And historically they haven’t listened for Jesus did come back from the grave and most people scoff at the Resurrection.
- Open your eyes and go out to live this day.
Prayer: This is story told by Your Son. How should I live? Please, guide me.