Monday, November 15, 2010

Daily Office Reflection: Real Evidence Ignored

Psalms 89:1-18 * 89:19-52; Habakkuk 2:1-4,9-20; James 2:14-26; Luke 16:19-31

Jesus tells the Pharisees today the story of the rich man (know colloquially as Dives, because of the early translation of "rich man" in the Vulgate Bible) and Lazarus (not the same one who is Jesus' friend and brother of Martha and Mary {couldn't they have picked other names?}). This is the reversal of fortune story where the rich man who lived lavishly ends up in torment after his death, while Lazarus, who was poor and sick and hungry and diseased in life, lies in contentment on the chest of Abraham after his death. The rich man begs for help which is denied him. He asks that word be sent to his family so that they do not suffer the same fate as him. Abraham replies that he and others did not listen to the prophets sent before, and they will not listen to someone they know has risen from the dead.

This is a complex story with a number of messages and meanings contained within the telling. What strikes me the sharpest today is Jesus saying the evidence has been right in front of our eyes all along, and we chose to look past those truths. We rationalize, argue, exclude people who are different from ourselves, ignore (or have become so inured to their presence) that we walk past those homeless and hungry who need our help. Jesus is pointing us to the facts that not only is God's love for us all around us in palpable ways, but so are the needs of this world palpably around us and are easily ignored.

What more does God have to do for us to make us open our eyes, Jesus is saying. This is a good question, even unto today.

Copyright 2010, The Rev. John F. Dwyer. All Rights Reserved.

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