From The Deacon’s Desk for September 25, 2022

Dear Friends:

Today our Gospel reading is from Luke 16:19-31. It’s the story of the poor soul Lazarus who is lying at the door of a very rich man. Lazarus was so poor he would’ve been happy to eat the scraps the rich man throws away. The neighborhood dogs used to come and lick Lazarus’ sores.

Eventually poor Lazarus died. He was carried away by angels to the bosom of Abraham. The rich man died soon after and he went to the netherworld where he was in torment. He raised his eyes and saw Abraham with Lazarus at his side. The rich man asked Abraham to let Lazarus dip the tip of his finger in water and cool his tongue for he was suffering in the flames. Abraham said: “Remember that you received what was good during your lifetime while Lazarus received what was bad; now he is comforted here, whereas you are tormented.”

The rich man in a last-ditch effort asked Abraham to send Lazarus to his brothers who are not good people. Abraham tells him they have Moses and the prophets and they should listen to them. The rich man said they will not listen, but if a dead person came to them they would. Abraham retorts “If they will not listen to Moses and the prophets, they will not be persuaded if someone should rise from the dead.”

This whole story centers on the last line. That line clearly states that the resurrected Jesus is hope for all of us. There is also a strong message that, if we want to center on the resurrected Jesus, we must take care of the Lazaruses in our lives. Lazarus to us may not just be poor people. Lazarus could be someone who needs a shoulder to cry on, a friend or even an institution that needs help to accomplish its work. It’s up to us to find out who our Lazarus is and then to take steps that are needed to help whomever or whatever it is!

Peace and All Good!

Deacon Jim