1989 Oct 1 – 26th Sun Ord Tim (Bulletin Letters)

1989 Oct 1 – 26th Sun Ord Tim (Bulletin Letters)

26th Sun Ord Time Cycle C

Lk 16, 1 – 13

Dear Friends:

“BUT IF SOMEONE WOULD ONLY GO TO THEM FROM THE DEAD, THEN THEY WOULD REPENT.”(Luke 16/30). Last week Jesus told us, “You cannot give yourself to God and money.” (Luke 16/13). This week we learn the consequences of such misplaced loyalties. The parable of the Rich man and Lazarus is familiar to us all. It is a judgment parable. Lazarus was a poor man who lived outside the Rich man’s gate, yet the Rich man never noticed him. Side by side they lived their lives; Lazarus in dire poverty, the Rich man in opulent wealth. Then they both die. Lazarus is carried to the ‘bosom of Abraham’ in heaven and the Rich man is stationed in the ‘abode of the dead’ to suffer eternal torment. Each getting there just deserves.

The dialogue that follows focuses on the Rich man. The Rich man calls out to his ‘Father Abraham’ across the abyss that separates him from Lazarus. He begs that Lazarus be allowed to give him a few drops of water to relieve his great misery. Abraham tells him it cannot be done. Lazarus, who suffered so in his life on earth is now being consoled in the afterlife, while the Rich man, who only knew comfort and wealth during his life on earth, has found torment and misery in the afterlife. Abraham tells the Rich man that the abyss that separates them is not crossable.

Sensing the hopelessness of his position the Rich man begs Abraham to send Lazarus back to his brothers to warn them of the fate that awaits them if they do not repent and change. Abraham tells him that they have “Moses and the Prophets” to instruct them. The Rich man insists that this is not enough. “IF someone would only go to them from the dead, then they would repent” he says.  Not so, says Abraham. “If they do not listen to Moses and the prophets, they will not be convinced even if one should rise from the dead.” Luke16/31 Clearly Abraham is referring to Jesus when he says, ‘they will not be convinced even it one should rise from the dead.’ The ironic twist to this Gospel is found here. Jesus was addressing this parable to the Pharisees. They, more than anyone else, were responsible for interpreting the Law of Moses and the prophets to their people.  Yet they are the very ones who refused to accept Jesus and his mission from the Father.


89 10 01 Road Trip THE MILLION HOMELESS IN THE USA -LAZARUS FOR OUR TIME: This coming week I take off for Washington D.C. and the “Housing Now” Demonstration. Organizers are hoping for a half million people to come to Washington D.C. to help demand affordable housing for the growing number of homeless people in this country. I can’t think of a greater scandal in our nation, the richest country in the world, than the existence of homeless people in every city of our nation. Something is terribly wrong with the system. It must be changed. If the homeless are the Lazarus’s of our day, then those of us who live so comfortably will have a lot to be accountable for in the life to come.

WHILE I’M AWAY: Fr. Dennis Ham, S.J. will be filling in for me this coming weekend.  Fr. Dennis teaches at Creighton. If you need a priest during the week, please call Fr. Jim Kiernan or Fr. Fred Reischl. I leave on Wednesday, October 4th and will return Friday, October 13th.





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