(Lk 16, 19-31)
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.'”
The Heart of Man
“May puso ka ba” “More Tortuous than anything is the human heart, beyond remedy; who can understand it?” Jeremiah asks today. We have to examine our hearts. No, I am not saying we go to our Cardiologist today, although you can do so, of course. But we have to examine our hearts, that is, what is it that we love? What is of value to us?
Our hearts can easily be deceived. We can fall in love with the glitter of gold. Oh so many fall into this trap! “The love of money is the root of all evil (1 Tim 6, 10).” For others it could be power! And as the British historian, Lord Acton, so aptly said “power corrupts, and absolute power corrupts absolutely!” Still for others it would be pleasures of the flesh. Any one of these cardinal temptations can so corrupt the heart that other more important values can be sacrificed. Honor, family, people can be thrown out of the window.
The rich man in today’s Gospel fell into the third trap – pleasure. He had good food! He enjoyed his food! And he forgot his neighbor. His heart had hardened. One who does not see the misery of his neighbor we call “walang puso!”