The good news for the day March 16, 2017
Thursday of the Second Week in Lent (233)
Jesus says to the religious leaders (Pharisees): “Once upon a time there was a rich man who wore silk suits and fine linen; he ate extravagant meals every day. At his door, meantime, lay a poor fella—Lazarus. Covered with sores, he would gladly have gotten full eating scraps that fell off the rich man’s table. Dogs used to come and lick his sores. When the poverty-stricken man died, he was carried away by angels to the bosom of Abraham. The rich man died, too, and was buried, and from hades, the shadow world, where he was in torment, he raised his eyes and saw Abraham far off with Lazarus at his side. He called, ‘Father Abraham, have pity on me. Send Lazarus to dip the tip of his finger in water and cool my tongue; I am suffering torment in these flames.’ Abraham replied, ‘My child, remember that you received good during your lifetime while Lazarus for his part received bad; but now he is comforted here, whereas you are tortured. Moreover, between us and you a great chasm has been set to prevent from crossing anyone who might wish to go from our side to yours or from your side to ours.’ The once-rich man said, ‘Then I beg you, father, send him to my father’s house, where I have five brothers, so that he may warn them, so that they might not come to this place of torture.’ But Abraham replied, ‘They have had Moses’ rules and the prophets. Let your family listen to them.’ He said, ‘Oh no, father Abraham! If someone from the dead goes to them, they will change.’ Then Abraham said, ‘If they won’t listen to Moses and the prophets, their minds will certainly not be changed if someone rises from the dead.’“ (Luke 16)
A different way of hearing this story is to think that you see two sides of your own self wrestling with each other. We are the rich person—satisfied, self-sufficient, and feeling morally superior. Our other self, “Lazarus,” is poor and weak compared to others so sure, worn-out with futility, struggling to do good—and frustrated at how little good we do. Your good self is cherished by Your Father in heaven—hugged, held—but hidden. And that is the Good News!