Active Christianity


March 16, 2017
Thursday, 2nd Week of Lent
1st Reading: Jer 17:5–10
Gospel: Lk 16:19–31

Jesus said to his disciples, “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 hell where he was in torment, he 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, to 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 grave.’”

(Daily Gospel in the Assimilated Life Experience)

The rich man Dives did nothing wrong to Lazarus. But neither did he do anything good to him. For being passive towards Lazarus he suffered in hell for all eternity. Christianity is not mere avoidance of evil. It is a matter of doing good. Let us make use of whatever is available to us to uplift the lives of others.

This lesson hits the core of the Lenten message. We deepen our prayer life by prayer, fasting, and abstinence to remind ourselves that we are mere dusts and to dust we shall return (Gen. 3:19). But as Christians we are called to “Be perfect just as (our) heavenly Father is perfect” (Matthew 5:48).
To perfect our Lenten observance the fasting we do must uplift the poor. If after Lent we still remain selfish, at least something happens to the poor because the money we save from fasting is spent for charity. If our Lenten observance makes us more active in uplifting the lives of others, we have greater chances of being with Lazarus, not with Dives in the next life. – (Atty.) Rev. Fr. Dan Domingo P. delos Angeles, Jr., DM.

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