O Lord, awaken me by this warning. Do not let me be like the foolish brothers.
Picture Jesus teaching the crowds.
Judaism believed that riches proved God’s favor and that poverty proved sinfulness. Jesus reveals the true picture which shocks his audience. The rich man goes to hell while Lazarus enjoys the highest honor of being at Abraham’s side.
This sets the stage for this parable of the six brothers (its real name). The rich man sees clearly that his five brothers are in danger. However, his brothers are like foolish men with no thought of the impending judgment. They do not listen to the Church and its preaching.
Gospel Text: (Read slowly, possibly aloud.)
Thoughts: (Read all. Ponder the ones that attract you.)
- Lazarus is used only to highlight the problem of the six brothers, one dead and five living.
- The dead brother realizes how important repentance is. Without penance, his five brothers will all join him in hell.
- They have the normal helps (the teachings of Moses and the prophets) but the rich man realizes that they won’t use those helps.
- He pleads for Lazarus to be a risen-from-the-dead preacher, to whom they will certainly listen.
- However, Jesus is already risen from the dead and most do not listen even now.
- The parable challenges us to respond to the Gospel that is preached to us every day.
Affections: (When one touches your heart, use your own words.)
- Jesus, while I am here on earth, I am free to choose.
- When my life is over, I will have made my choice.
- Right now, I decide to repent, to change and to have you as my Lord.
- I do not need an extraordinary preacher. I need only your word.
- You are risen. You preach to me. You speak within. You call. You shout. I must hush all the other voices so I can hear you.
- Someday, Jesus, I will be in heaven or in hell. Guide my free will.
Resolutions: (Possibly you might want to make your own.)
+ I will read God’s word with urgency.
+ I will believe that God wants to welcome me into his Kingdom.