The Second Exchange

This coming Sunday is the 26th Sunday in Ordinary Time. In yesterday’s post we listened to the first exchange between the Rich Man and Abraham in which the former cries out for mercy and relief from his torment in the netherworld. Today, the dialogue continues: 27 He said, ‘Then I beg you, father, send him to my father’s house, 28 for I have five brothers, so that he may warn them, lest they too come to this place of torment.’ 29 But Abraham replied, ‘They have Moses and the prophets. Let them listen to them.’”

Here the rich man asks that Lazarus (again as servant) be sent back to warn the rich man’s surviving brothers. Seemingly accepting his fate, he at least gives evidence of thinking of another person. “But Abraham replied, ‘They have Moses and the prophets. Let them listen to them’” (v.29). Indeed, let us listen to them:

If one of your kinsmen in any community is in need in the land which the LORD, your God, is giving you, you shall not harden your heart nor close your hand to him in his need. Instead, you shall open your hand to him and freely lend him enough to meet his need” (Dt 15:7-8)

This, rather, is the fasting that I wish: releasing those bound unjustly, untying the thongs of the yoke; Setting free the oppressed, breaking every yoke; Sharing your bread with the hungry, sheltering the oppressed and the homeless; Clothing the naked when you see them, and not turning your back on your own” (Isaiah 58:6-7)

Image Credit: Lazarus and Dives, illumination from the 11th century Codex Aureus of Echternach, Public Domain at Wikipedia

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