Daily Reflection – Feb 25, 2016
Thursday 25 February 2016
First Reading: Jeremiah 17:5-10
Happy are they who hope in the Lord
Psalm 1:1-4, 6
Gospel Reading: Luke 16:19-31
Today’s Note: Thursday of the Second Week of Lent
Jesus said to the Pharisees:
“There was a rich man who dressed in purple garments and fine linen
and dined sumptuously each day.
And lying at his door was a poor man named Lazarus, covered with sores,
who would gladly have eaten his fill of the scraps
that fell from the rich man’s table.
Dogs even used to come and lick his sores.
When the poor man died,
he was carried away by angels to the bosom of Abraham.
The rich man also died and was buried,
and from the netherworld, where he was in torment,
he raised his eyes and saw Abraham far off
and Lazarus at his side.
And he cried out, ‘Father Abraham, have pity on me.
Send Lazarus to dip the tip of his finger in water and cool my tongue,
for I am suffering torment in these flames.’
Abraham replied, ‘My child,
remember that you received what was good during your lifetime
while Lazarus likewise received what was bad;
but now he is comforted here, whereas you are tormented.
Moreover, between us and you a great chasm is established
to prevent anyone from crossing
who might wish to go from our side to yours
or from your side to ours.’
He said, ‘Then I beg you, father, send him
to my father’s house,
for I have five brothers, so that he may warn them,
lest they too come to this place of torment.’
But Abraham replied, ‘They have Moses and the prophets.
Let them listen to them.’
He said, ‘Oh no, father Abraham,
but if someone from the dead goes to them, they will repent.’
Then Abraham said,
‘If they will not listen to Moses and the prophets,
neither will they be persuaded
if someone should rise from the dead.’”
‘If they do not listen’.
Sometimes the simplest of messages can be the hardest to digest. Noise interferes with the transmission; distractions cloud our judgment; demands on our time prevent us from anything but skimming newsfeeds and newspapers; and we wear blinkers, which narrow our view.
But it’s important we stop and take stock of our situation and that of our neighbours. Listening is an act of generosity. Ethicist, Peter Singer, calls it effective altruism – finding deep happiness by being compassionate towards others, here and now.
The rich man might have enjoyed his lavish lifestyle, but the agony he endured in Hades didn’t equate to the temporary pleasures he experienced on earth; he desperately tried to warn his family of the dangers but his pleas were in vein.
Unlike the rich man, we need to navigate the noises and distractions and blinkers and lack of time to be with the marginalised; for it is when we listen we can change.