Thursday: 21st March, 2019
Reference text: Luke 16:19-31
Luke 16:25 But Abraham said, Son, remember that thou in thy lifetime receivedst thy good things, and likewise Lazarus evil things: but now he is comforted, and thou art tormented.
The parable read today, the only one in which Jesus uses an actual name, is one about which songs have been sung. There was one version that was popular in my high school which students sang with whatever lyrics they could find often because they had no idea what the actual words were. It started with the words ‘poor man Lazarus’.
As one reads the parable, the moment where both men die draws the greatest attention because while Lazarus was carried into the bossom of Abraham, the unnamed rich man found himself in a place of torment. While focusing on that image, this word hit me ‘Do not be deceived, you will not enjoy eternity in my presence just because you are poor’
This parable is such that the only difference evident between the two men was the financial chasm, but that is clearly a tip of the iceberg. God, who is no respecter of persons, will not admit into his presence solely on the basis of poverty. Besides it is written ‘God gives power to make wealth (Deuteronomy 18:8)’. Hence, both men had the potential to stand on the same pedestal of wealth.
Sweetheart, regardless of who you are, or what you own, you can be certain that the criteria for eternity with God remains the same and unaltered. In these words they are enshrined: ‘God has given us eternal life, and this life is hid in his son’ (1 John 5:11). No other conditions or requirements take precedence over this, neither wealth nor fame nor personality. So again, as you read today’s Gospel remember these words:
Do not be deceived because neither poverty nor wealth is a guarantee of our eternity in God’s presence, only Jesus is.