by Kaspar van den Hoecke
Gospel of Luke 16:19-31 Reflection:
Today's Gospel is a story that many people believe actually has some historical fact behind it.
Shortly before Jesus began his public ministry a rich Pharisee who had been particularly cruel to his slaves and servants had died. His story would have been well known to the people of the time so the Pharisees present would have had no doubt that Jesus was speaking directly to them and their way of seeing the world.
The story is worth reading particularly in the light of the atheist push in our world today. Atheism, which is only another word for man's pride, is without mercy. It has to be because mercy is a gift of God, a spiritual gift that makes us take part in the very life of God.
The Pharisee showed no mercy. They couldn't because they were above Lazarus in their mind. Lazarus was one of the underdogs, a bit like the billion people in our world who do not have enough food to live on.
Our governments have more important things to do such as fight wars against imagined enemies, spend billions promoting abortion, (war on the unborn) what does a few starving people mean to them.
Lazarus was on the rich man's doorstep. In the globalized world, where are the starving if not on our doorstep? And with the inequality rising in every western country, the poor shall soon be moving very close to our homes!
Jesus says something at the end of this passage that is very interesting: "they would not believe even if someone should rise from the dead."
If Jesus came among us today and walked the streets of Europe, America or Asia with his message, how long would it be before he needed to rise again?
And who would put him to death?