Jesus said to the Pharisees:
"There was a rich man who dressed in purple garments and fine linen
and dined sumptuously each day.
And lying at his door was a poor man named Lazarus, covered with sores,
who would gladly have eaten his fill of the scraps
that fell from the rich man's table.
Dogs even used to come and lick his sores.
When the poor man died,
he was carried away by angels to the bosom of Abraham.
The rich man also died and was buried,
and from the netherworld, where he was in torment,
he raised his eyes and saw Abraham far off
and Lazarus at his side.
by Father Greg Friedman, OFM
Today’s Gospel is the well-known parable of the rich man and Lazarus. You know the story: The poor Lazarus is ignored at the rich man’s gate, but after death their status is reversed. Lazarus is secure in “Abraham’s bosom” while the rich man is in torment. Between the two, Abraham says, there’s a “great chasm,” so that those on either side can never come close to each other--never again share a cooling drink of water to ease the torment.
The figure of Abraham in this story has always been a side detail for me. But Scripture scholar Barbara Reid points out that Abraham is present in the story as a wealthy man who knew how to use his riches for good. Abraham’s hospitality is part of his story in Genesis.
Here in Luke’s Gospel, the figure of Abraham helps us understand how it’s not riches in themselves that are bad; it’s how they’re used. Do we allow wealth to blind us to the needs of those right on our doorstep? The rich man ignored Lazarus, and now in death they’re permanently apart—the chance to meet lost forever. Those who hear this Sunday’s Gospel at Eucharist and who have more than enough of worldly riches still have a chance to use them for good. May the Gospel challenge touch their hearts.
by Father Dan Kroger, OFM
• In the first reading (Amos 6:1a, 4-70), Amos gives a final warning to the people of Jerusalem. What were they doing contrary to the wishes of God? What will happen to them?
• In this week's second reading (1 Timothy 6:11-16), Paul urges Timothy to do good things. What are some of those things Paul lists?
How do we know if Paul thinks Timothy is doing good things?
• The Gospel has Jesus telling a parable about a rich man and Lazarus. Can you tell the story in your own words?
The moral of the parable is that people need to care for their brothers and sisters. Who goes to heaven? Who is sent to hell?
by Susan Hines-Brigger
• Put together small snack bags or bags with personal items and keep them in your car to distribute to homeless people in your area.
• The Gospel makes mention of both heaven and hell. Draw a picture showing what you think both places look like using descriptions from the Gospel.