5th SUNDAY OF LUKE, Luke 16: 19-31
A number of messages can be drawn from the severe contrast this parable presents between the earthly lives of the rich man and Lazarus and also their experiences in the next life.
The first message is that there is a life after death and that what we do in our earthly lives will determine how we will experience eternity. It was not the rich man’s wealth as such that condemned him. The reference to Lazarus being carried by angels to “Abraham’s bosom” (Luke 16: 22) (Abraham was a wealthy man during his earthly life) confirms that wealth, when used properly and in accordance with God’s will, does not deprive a person of the eternal kingdom. Rather, it is the misuse of wealth, especially as a means to super-feed one’s egoism and self-centredness that results in the loss of the eternal kingdom.
4th SUNDAY OF LUKE, Luke 8: 5-15
“And some fell into good soil and grew, and yielded a hundredfold” (Luke 8:8)
A seed contains a miracle. When you look at it from the outside, or touch it, it appears hard, dry, perhaps even dead and incapable of producing anything. But place it in the ground, give it water and warmth, and life begins to stir. The outer shell dies but the inner kernel comes alive by the mysterious forces of growth. The inner powers of the kernel are released when the seed is in proper soil and receives adequate moisture. The kernel germinates and new life begins. As long as nourishment is provided, growth continues. From the seed comes a flower, a plant, or a tree, each of which was present only potentially in the seed. Continue reading
3rd SUNDAY OF LUKE, Luke 7: 11-16
“And when He came near the gate of the city, behold, a dead man was being carried out, the only son of his mother; and she was a widow. And a large crowd from the city was with her. When the Lord saw her He had compassion on her and said to her, “Do not weep” (vs.12-13).
These few words, “Do not weep”, encompass the whole purpose of Christ’s coming to the world. Today’s moving gospel reading from Luke 7:11-17 reminds us that Jesus came to wipe away our tears, to soften our pain, and to lighten the burden of life. One can only imagine how painful must have been the grief of the widow on her way to the cemetery to bury her only child – a son. St. Luke tells us that a “large crowd from the city was with her”, but no matter how many people around her, she was now alone and aware only of her pain and grief. In the beautiful city of Nain in the region of Galilee, all she could see was two graves – that of her husband and now that of her only son. Now we might hastily think that this is simply the tragic story of one woman. But isn’t it really everyone’s story? Life can be beautiful for a while, but inevitably the day comes when it is no longer so. There is suffering; there is trouble; there is war; there is death. The result of all this is grief – an utterly painful experience that all of us must at some point in life come to terms with.
Luke 6:31-36: ‘And just as you want men to do to you, you also do to them likewise. But if you love those who love you, what credit is that to you? For even sinners love those who love them. And if you do good to those who do good to you, what credit is that to you? For even sinners do the same. And if you lend to those from whom you hope to receive back, what credit is that to you? For even sinners lend to sinners to receive as much back. But love your enemies, do good, and lend, hoping for nothing in return; and your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High. For He is kind to the unthankful and evil. Therefore be merciful, just as your Father also is merciful’. Continue reading