Dear Brothers and Sisters,
The parable of the rich man and Lazarus, the poor man, can be taken as a warning and a challenge. A warning that if we fail to see the poor as needing our concern and our care that we will end up in torment in the place of the dead. It is a warning that if there is a great gulf fixed between us and our other brothers and sisters when we die, nothing or no one can extinguish our torment. Notice that the rich man just did not care about Lazarus. In fact, even in the place of the dead, (Hades), the rich man asks Abraham to send Lazarus to warn his brothers. He cares about his brothers, yes, but he sees Lazarus as a nobody. That was how he saw him when he was alive and now, in Hades, he wants to use him.
The challenge for us today is to do something about the ways we relate to those we encounter daily. The story tells us “There was a rich man who used to dress in purple and feast magnificently every day.” That meant that Lazarus was constantly in the rich man’s space. However, he did not see a brother in sores and in hunger. There was a fixed gulf that only charity could remove.
Please, let’s rise to the challenge and ensure that there is no gulf between us and, especially, the poor.
Fr. Clement Paul.