Join us as we reflect, ponder, and pray together inspired by today's Gospel.
Today's Gospel: Luke 16:19-31
The parable of the rich man and Lazarus has such relevance today that whenever I hear it, I do a brief examination of conscience. I recall recent instances where I have ignored a need in my community or the world and gone on with my day with a clear conscience, putting off action or completely ignoring circumstances.
The thing is, my conscience is not clear. That’s why the parable is so powerful. In simple terms, the parable is about a rich man ignoring the needs of a poor man, and then seeing how their fortunes are reversed in the afterlife. Then, the rich man suddenly speaks of warnings and regrets that he didn’t get a clear message about the consequences of his actions. If someone had returned from the dead to warn him, maybe he would have made better choices. But the Lord is clear – if the rich man didn’t listen to Moses, who will he listen to?
While the parable condemns those who ignore the needs of the poor, it also tells a tragic story of the rich man, who does not seem to have any remorse for his life, just a vague regret that he wasn’t sent enough warnings to repent.
I feel like I would be begging for God’s mercy … and yet, the prideful rich man is so deeply mired in his sin that even now, he takes no responsibility, shows no love for God (or Lazarus, whom he still feels is beneath him as a servant to bring him water in his despair).
Let us soften our hearts to the poor around us, and be humble before the Lord, unafraid to ask for his mercy.
When I have failed to love the Lord, in action or omission, have I returned to Him with remorse and asked for forgiveness?
Dear Lord Jesus Christ, you are just and merciful. Forgive me for acting unjustly toward the least of your people.
Copyright 2021 Maria Morera Johnson
About the Author
Maria Morera Johnson, author of My Badass Book of Saints, Super Girls and Halo, and Our Lady of Charity: How a Cuban Devotion to Mary Helped Me Grow in Faith and Love writes about all the things that she loves. A cradle Catholic, she struggles with living in the world but not being of it, and blogs about those successes and failures, too.