Homily (Reflection) for Thursday of the Second Week of Lent (21st March, 2019) on the Gospel
Ps 1:1-4.6. (R. Ps 39:5);
Topic: After the leveller.
In today’s gospel we see a figure that better depicts a wealthy king, “a rich man who was dressed in purple and fine linen and who feasted sumptuously every day” (Lk 16:19). Surprisingly at his gate sat, “a poor man named Lazarus, covered with sores, who longed to satisfy his hunger with what fell from the rich man’s table; even the dogs would come and lick his sores” (Lk 16:20-21).
At the appointed time, Lazarus died and was taken to the bosom of Abraham where he is being comforted. The rich man also died and was buried. While he is being tormented in Hades, he looked up and saw Abraham with Lazarus by his side. “He called out, ‘Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus to dip the tip of his finder in water and cool my tongue; for I am in agony in these flames” (Lk 16:24).
Wait a minute, someone who had been feasting sumptuously every day now begs for a dip of finger in water. The only thing that looks like an act of kindness in the onetime rich man is his plea for Lazarus to warn his five brothers lest they end up in the same place of torment. However Abraham replied, “They have Moses and the prophets; they should listen to them.” And to this he replied, “No, father Abraham; but if someone goes to them from the dead, they will repent.” Abraham said to him, “If they do not listen to Moses and the prophets, neither will they be convinced even if someone rises from the dead.”
Lenten season is a special time for giving alms. It is important to listen to Jesus’ admonition, “make friends for yourselves by means of dishonest wealth so that when it is gone, they may welcome you into the eternal homes” (Lk 16:9). The fate of the rich man awaits all who would not reach out to others, cf. Lk 13:1-5.
Again, this is a time of repentance. Postpone no further. We have Moses and the prophets. What are you waiting for? Today is the favourable time, cf. Ps 102:13; Is 49:8. Let us “Seek the LORD while he may be found, call upon him while he is near” (Is 55:6). Have you been feasting daily with your wealth or feeding the hungry, clothing the naked, visiting the prisoners, giving drink to the thirsty, and so on, cf. Matt 25:31-46? What you do with your wealth today defines your tomorrow.
Bible Reading: Lk 13:1-5; 16:9-13; Matt 25:31-46.
Thought for today: Wealth is meant to be used and not misused, cf. Lk 16:9.
Let us pray: May God help us make good use of all He blessed us with – Amen.
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