Daily Feast Reflection (Saturday, 28 September)

Scripture: Luke 16:19-31

"There was a rich man who was dressed in purple and fine linen and who feasted sumptuously every day. And at his gate lay 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. The poor man died and was carried away by the angels to be with Abraham. The rich man also died and was buried. In Hades, where he was being tormented, he looked up and saw Abraham far away with Lazarus by his side. He called out, 'Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus to dip the tip of his finger in water and cool my tongue; for I am in agony in these flames.' But Abraham said, 'Child, remember that during your lifetime you received your good things, and Lazarus in like manner evil things; but now he is comforted here, and you are in agony. Besides all this, between you and us a great chasm has been fixed, so that those who might want to pass from here to you cannot do so, and no one can cross from there to us.' He said, 'Then, father, I beg you to send him to my father's house-for I have five brothers-that he may warn them, so that they will not also come into this place of torment.' Abraham replied, 'They have Moses and the prophets; they should listen to them.' 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 listen to Moses and the prophets, neither will they be convinced even if someone rises from the dead.'"

Reflection: Luke clearly tells us that this parable was given to "lovers of money" (v. 14), so it was a direct message to them. Apparently Jesus wanted to reveal through the story that they loved there money more than people, their possessions more than the poor, their clothes more than compassion, and their extravagant feasts more than sharing food with the hungry. Perhaps Jesus had been a guest at one of his listerners' homes and had witnessed a scene similar to the one with which he begins his parable  This surely would have heightened the discomfort created by his words.                  G. Penny Wilson

Response: Think about ways to help a wealthy person really hear this story, perhaps for the first time. Think about the ways we all seem to develp tunnel vision when we pass by the homeless or poor or mentally ill. 

Prayer: Lord, may the bounty of the feast I enjoy also be shared with those who are hungry. Amen.