This is the gospel today, March 4, 2010 in the Roman Catholic lectionary. I have always liked this story. I am not sure why. I think it is because it is a morality tale about people who just don't listen. They are too narcissistic and non empathetic with their fellow human beings and life around them.
Unitarian Universalists value the interdependent web of life and justice, equity, and compassion in human relations. Why is it that the wealthy often seem to miss the boat?
There are many wealthy and famous people who seem to get it though like Bill Gates, Bono, Angelina Jolie and many others.
Anyway to the story.
A certain man was wealthy, and he was clothed in purple and in fine linen. And he feasted splendidly every day.
And there was a certain beggar, named Lazarus, who lay at his gate, covered with sores, wanting to be filled with the crumbs which were falling from the wealthy man’s table. But no one gave it to him. And even the dogs came and licked his sores.
Then it happened that the beggar died, and he was carried by the Angels into the bosom of Abraham. Now the wealthy man also died, and he was entombed in Hell. Then lifting up his eyes, while he was in torments, he saw Abraham far away, and Lazarus in his bosom. And crying out, he said: ‘Father Abraham, take pity on me and send Lazarus, so that he may dip the tip of his finger in water to refresh my tongue. For I am tortured in this fire.’
And Abraham said to him: ‘Son, recall that you received good things in your life, and in comparison, Lazarus received bad things. But now he is consoled, and truly you are tormented. And besides all this, between us and you a great chaos has been established, so that those who might want to cross from here to you are not able, nor can someone cross from there to here.’
And he said: ‘Then, father, I beg you to send him to my father’s house, for I have five brothers, so that he may testify to them, lest they also come into this place of torments.’
And Abraham said to him: ‘They have Moses and the prophets. Let them listen to them.’
So he said: ‘No, father Abraham. But if someone were to go to them from the dead, they would repent.’
But he said to him: ‘If they will not listen to Moses and the prophets, neither will they believe even if someone has resurrected from the dead.’
When you watch our current politicans dither while people suffer and die whether its Senator Bunning who blocks the extension of unemployment benefits or the Republicans who don't want 48 million Americans to have health care and thousands are dying every year for the lack thereof.
I wonder if they care about the common good or only their own political careers? What would Jesus say about this behavior?
Leave a comment about what you make of the story. What is the lesson? What is the moral of the story for you?