By: Bobot Apit Mar 24, 2011 - Thursday Meditation (Be A Sign!) We can bring heaven a little closer to earth, even if it’s for just one person. When we alleviate someone’s suffering, we are helping to make God’s kingdom a reality, right here in the present. We become a sign of the way things will be in heaven, when every tear will be wiped away and everyone will be treated as equals— cherished brothers and sisters in Christ. May I give them not just earthly bread but the bread of your presence as well. GOD BLESS EVERYONE! Jeremiah 17:5-10 Psalm 1:1-4,6 Luke 16:19-31 "There was a rich man, who was clothed in purple and fine linen and who feasted sumptuously every day. 20 And at his gate lay a poor man named Laz'arus, full of sores, 21 who desired to be fed with what fell from the rich man's table; moreover the dogs came and licked his sores. 22 The poor man died and was carried by the angels to Abraham's bosom. The rich man also died and was buried; 23 and in Hades, being in torment, he lifted up his eyes, and saw Abraham far off and Laz'arus in his bosom. 24 And he called out, `Father Abraham, have mercy upon me, and send Laz'arus to dip the end of his finger in water and cool my tongue; for I am in anguish in this flame.' 25 But Abraham said, `Son, remember that you in your lifetime received your good things, and Laz'arus in like manner evil things; but now he is comforted here, and you are in anguish. 26 And besides all this, between us and you a great chasm has been fixed, in order that those who would pass from here to you may not be able, and none may cross from there to us.' 27 And he said, `Then I beg you, father, to send him to my father's house, 28 for I have five brothers, so that he may warn them, lest they also come into this place of torment.' 29 But Abraham said, `They have Moses and the prophets; let them hear them.' 30 And he said, `No, father Abraham; but if some one goes to them from the dead, they will repent.' 31 He said to him, `If they do not hear Moses and the prophets, neither will they be convinced if some one should rise from the dead.'" Meditation from “the Word Among Us” “There was a rich man who … dined sumptuously each day.” (Luke 16:19) How rich do you think this fellow was? We might assume that his dire fate resulted simply from an excess of wealth. But Jesus never mentioned how much he had, because that wasn’t actually the issue. The real problem was the gap between the rich man and Lazarus. This fellow had more than enough, yet Lazarus couldn’t even meet his basic needs. The rich man could have done something to help Lazarus, but he didn’t. And that’s why he ended up in “the netherworld” (Luke 16:23). Many of us live in conditions that the rich man would envy. We’ve grown up in societies where it’s considered normal to have cars, houses, television sets, and food in abundance. Yet not too far away are people who consider themselves lucky to have one meal a day and a shack or tent to sleep in. How do we respond to this staggering inequality? Today’s reading offers us the chance to examine our attitudes toward wealth and money. Following Jesus’ teaching, the church tells us that money isn’t something that’s exclusively ours to use as we please. Our possessions ultimately come from God, and he wants us to share them with his children, especially if we have more than we need. And sometimes, if the need is great enough, we should share even out of our necessity. Giving to those who are destitute is not just a matter of generosity or charity. It’s a matter of justice. It’s something we owe them because they are our brothers and sisters. This story tells us that we can bring heaven a little closer to earth, even if it’s for just one person. When we alleviate someone’s suffering, we are helping to make God’s kingdom a reality, right here in the present. We become a sign of the way things will be in heaven, when every tear will be wiped away and everyone will be treated as equals— cherished brothers and sisters in Christ. “Lord, help me to see the Lazarus at my door—the hungry, the poor, the sick, and the lonely. May I give them not just earthly bread but the bread of your presence as well.” - The WORD AMONG US!
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