Dear Brothers and Sisters,
I heard this story and I think you might have heard it too. I would like to share it with you. There was this couple married for over 50 years. They had a wonderful life together. They never got into a fight or had an argument. But one day they got into a really big argument. The argument and exchange of words went to a level that the husband had to leave the house. He went to the church and knelt before the Altar and prayed. He prayed for a long time and finally he asked God a question, “God why did you make her so beautiful and so stupid?” Then there came a voice saying, “I made her beautiful so that you could be attracted to her and made her stupid that she should be attracted to you.” God has a plan for everyone and everything. It is when we rebel against his plan that we create unhappiness.
We have heard this parable of rich man and poor Lazarus. God’s plan was for the rich man to take care of poor Lazarus. But neglecting poor Lazarus he rebelled against God and ended up in the misery of hell. I would like to take what Abraham in the parable says for our meditation today.” Between you and us there is fixed a great abyss, so that those who might wish to cross from here to you cannot do so, nor can anyone cross from your side to us.” —Luke 16:26. The destiny of the rich man is to spend eternity staring across a great chasm separating himself from the Lord. The question is how was the abyss formed? The rich man spent his lifetime constructing this chasm (or gulf) to isolate himself from the poor. Now this gulf, built day by day during his life, could not be undone in eternity.
Not only in the USA, but throughout the whole world, many gulfs have been built to isolate the not-so-poor from the poor. We have suburbs, which the poor can’t reach because of distance and low income. We have expensive colleges and professional training, which often serve to exclude those without sufficient income. The high cost of medical insurance often excludes the poor from the treatment they need. This is not meant so much to criticize those who enjoy these things, as it is to make the point that those who have a gulf between themselves and the poor must work harder than ever to bridge that gulf. We too create gulfs in our lives with our wrong choices.
This Monday I was doing the Confirmation Program, Journey of Faith, for our eighth graders. The program is called Decision Point. You know, life is full of choices. Every day we make hundreds of choices: what to eat; what to wear; what time to arrive; whom to hang around with; whether or not to listen or what to care about. Many of these choices can seem inconsequential. But one choice builds upon another, and in the end our choices define who we become and where we end up. So your choices matter. The rich man in the parable had the freedom to choose to care for his fellow being, but he chose not to. His choice defined his destination.
The rich man treated the beggar with contempt and indifference, until he found his fortunes reversed at the end of his life! In God’s economy, those who hold on possessively to what they have, lose it all in the end, while those who share generously receive back many times more than they gave way. The rich man, however, could not see beyond his material wealth and possessions. He not only had everything he needed, he selfishly spent all he had on himself. He was too absorbed in what he possessed to notice the needs of those around him. He lost sight of God and the treasure of heaven because he was preoccupied with seeking happiness in material things. He served wealth rather than God. One after another he made wrong choices. In the end the rich man became a beggar! Do you know the joy and freedom of possessing God as your true and lasting treasure?
Let us pray: “Lord Jesus, you are my joy and my treasure. Make me rich in the things of heaven and give me a generous heart that I may freely share with others the spiritual and material treasures you have given to me.”
God Bless You,