A Great Chasm

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In today’s gospel passage from Luke, Jesus tells the Pharisees a parable about Lazarus, a beggar who in the afterlife is comforted in the bosom of Abraham.  Lazarus had spent his life begging on the doorstep of  the house of a rich man, who also died and was sent to the netherworld to suffer endless torment.

The rich man begs Abraham to send Lazarus to the netherworld to comfort him, but he is rebuked.

Abraham replied, ‘My child,
remember that you received what was good during your lifetime
while Lazarus likewise received what was bad;
but now he is comforted here, whereas you are tormented.
Moreover, between us and you a great chasm is established
to prevent anyone from crossing
who might wish to go from our side to yours
or from your side to ours.’

Did you notice that the rich man in the story has no name?  Because of his selfishness, he has lost everything, including his identity.  So it will be for us if we fail to see and help the suffering ones around us while we walk on this earth.  After death it will be too late, and not even those who loved us will be able to cross that great chasm that separates paradise from the netherworld to comfort us.

Lord, soften my heart today.

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