Categories: HomiliesPublished On: September 25th, 2022Tags: , 547 words16.6 min read
A Great Chasm

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A Great Chasm

First, the rich man who dressed in purple and fine linens. Purple was a very difficult color to find in first century Israel. It came from a certain type of plant found only in the Mediterranean Sea. It would take a great effort to get enough of these plants to make the color. And it was a difficult color to make because sometimes it would turn scarlet. Only the wealthiest of people would have purple clothing.

Linen comes from flax. And flax is not found in Israel. It would have been made in southern Europe and then carried by hand to Israel. To say he ate sumptuously would mean he probably had meat at every meal. Most people would think having meat at one meal each week extravagant, but he had meat every day. Everything about the rich man indicated he had great wealth.

Lazarus is everything that describes being poor people. Instead of fine clothing, he had sores, no mention of clothes. And he would eat the scraps that fell from the rich man’s table. In first century Israel, if you were rich enough to have meat at each meal you would use bread to wipe your fingers clean. They did not have forks, spoons, or knives. You used your fingers. So, after wiping his fingers he would throw that bread on the floor. Lazarus would have to fight the dogs to get the scraps.

Now, is there life after death? Not everyone believed there was life after death. For example, the Sadducees believed that when you died there was nothing more. The Sadducees did not believe in angels either. They must not have been a very joyful people.

The Pharisees did believe in life after death and in angels. We see that Lazarus is taken up to what they believed heaven to be, the rich man to hell.

Heaven would be a very joyful place. Between heaven and hell is a great chasm that no one can cross. From hell the rich man could see Lazarus, but he still did not even acknowledge Lazarus as a person but saw him as a slave, somebody to bring him water. Abraham speaks, but I often wonder, I do not think Lazarus could see the rich man. Because in heaven you will not have suffering or pain. Lazarus now receives comfort and relief. The rich man suffers in hell all that Lazarus experienced on earth and more.

The rich man has brothers and asks Abraham to send someone brought back to life to warn them that they will suffer the same fate he does.

Abraham’s answer is shocking.  ‘Si no escuchan a Moisés y a los profetas, no harán caso, ni aunque resucite un muerto’. We know and believe that Jesus died and was raised from the dead. Would not you think all people would believe in His Resurrection? He died and is now alive. Don’t think all people would see Jesus as God? You must ask yourself, “What do I believe?”

May the Lord bless you in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen