Gospel: Lk 16:19-31
Once there was a rich man who dressed in purple and fine linen and feasted every day. At his gate lay Lazarus, a poor man covered with sores, who longed to eat just the scraps falling from the rich man’s table. Even dogs used to come and lick his sores. It happened that the poor man died, and angels carried him to take his place with Abraham. The rich man also died, and was buried. From the netherworld where he was in torment, the rich man looked up and saw Abraham afar off, and with him Lazarus at rest.
He called out, ‘Father Abraham, have pity on me, and send Lazarus, with the tip of his finger dipped in water, to cool my tongue, for I suffer so much in this fire!’
Abraham replied, ‘My son, remember that in your lifetime you were well-off, while the lot of Lazarus was misfortune. Now he is in comfort, and you are in agony. But that is not all. Between your place and ours a great chasm has been fixed, so that no one can cross over from here to you, or from your side to us.
The rich man implored once more, ‘Then I beg you, Father Abraham, send Lazarus to my father’s house, where my five brothers live. Let him warn them, so that they may not end up in this place of torment. Abraham replied, ‘They have Moses and the prophets. Let them listen to them.’ But the rich man said, ‘No, Father Abraham; but if someone from the dead goes to them, they will repent.’
Abraham said, ‘If they will not listen to Moses and the prophets, they will not be convinced, even if someone rises from the dead.’“
The Heart of Man
“May puso ka ba?“ “More tortuous than anything is the human heart, beyond remedy; who can understand it?“ Jeremiah asks today. We have to examine our hearts. No, I am not saying we go to our Cardiologists today, although you may do so, of course. But we have to examine our hearts, that is, what is it that we love? What is of value to us?
Our hearts can easily be deceived. We can fall in love with the glitter of gold. Oh so many fall into this trap! “The love of money is the root of all evil (1 Tim 6:10).“ For others it could be power! And as the British historian, Lord Acton, so aptly said “power corrupts, and absolute power corrupts absolutely!“ Still for others it would be pleasures of the flesh. Any one of these cardinal temptations can so corrupt the heart that other more important values can be sacrificed. Honor, family, people can be thrown out of the window.
The rich man in today’s Gospel fell into the third trap – pleasure. He had good food! He enjoyed his food! And he forgot his neighbor. His heart had hardened. One who does not see the misery of his neighbor we call “walang puso!“