THE PHARISEES WERE OFFENDED by Christ’s remarks about money, and they began insinuating that He was not sincere. But Jesus said to them:
“You are they who declare yourselves just in the sight of men, but God knows your heart; for that which is exalted in the sight of men is an abomination before God. Until John came, there were the Law and the Prophets; since then the kingdom of God is being preached, and everyone is forcing his way into it. Yet it is easier for heaven and earth to pass away than for one tittle of the Law to fail.”
“There was a certain rich man who used to clothe himself in purple and fine linen, and who feasted every day in splendid fashion. And there was a certain poor man, named Lazarus, who lay at his gate, covered with sores, and longing to be filled with the crumbs that fell from the rich man’s table; even the dogs would come and lick his sores. And it came to pass that the poor man died and was borne away by the angels into Abraham’s bosom; but the rich man also died and was buried in hell. And lifting up his eyes, being in torments, he saw Abraham afar off and Lazarus in his bosom. And he cried out and said, ‘Father Abraham, have pity on me, and send Lazarus to dip the tip of his finger in water and cool my tongue, for I am tormented in this flame.’ But Abraham said to him, ‘Son, remember that thou in thy lifetime hast received good things, and Lazarus in like manner evil things; but now here he is comforted whereas thou art tormented. And besides all that, between us and you a great gulf is fixed, so that they who wish to pass over from this side to you cannot, and they cannot cross from your side to us.’ And he said, ‘Then, father, I beseech thee to send him to my father’s house, for I have five brothers, that he may testify to them, lest they too come into this place of torments.’ And Abraham said to him, ‘They have Moses and the Prophets, let them hearken to them.’ But he answered, ‘No, father Abraham, but if someone from the dead goes to them, they will repent.’ But he said to him, ‘If they do not hearken to Moses and the Prophets, they will not believe even if someone rises from the dead.'”
Meditation: The riches of this world perish with death. Not only are they fleeting but they are a danger to the soul seeking to amass spiritual wealth. While of themselves they are good (for all things which God has made are good), it is difficult to have them and remain detached from them. And if there is not detachment, the will is not free to attach itself to God, and the end is Dives’ lot–hell. Why then do I envy the rich man?
Information from The Life of Christ “Our Lord’s Life with Lesson in His Own Words for Our Life Today” The Catholic Press, Inc. 1959. 171-172. © 1954 edited by Reverend John P. O’Connell, MASTD and Jex Martin, following mainly A Chronological Harmony of the Gospels by Stephen J Hartdegen OFM NIHIL OBSTAT John A McMahon; IMPRIMATUR Samuel Cardinal Stritch, Archbishop of Chicago August 1, 1953. Print. Drawing by Albert H Winkler.