Jesus tells a story of a rich man who was clothed in purple and fine linen and who feasted sumptuously everyday. And at his gate was laid a poor man named Lazarus, covered with sores, who desired to be fed with what fell from the rich’s man table. Moreover, even the dogs came and licked his sores. The poor man died and was carried by the angels to Abraham side.
Lazarus desired to be fed but I presume that the rich man despised him; with all of his wealth Lazarus should have been invited to his feast and made a servant of his household. It would have been a little mercy on his part to show compassion on poor Lazarus, who day after day, inflicted with pain and sorrow, starved, till he finally collapsed a weak skeletal man. Riches was provided for the rich man from heaven so that he may have mercy on poor Lazarus but he overlooked him and squandered his wealth on wild parties and self indulgence. His riches knew no mercy and poor Lazarus became a victim of the rich man’s lavish greed. My friends, there are many Lazarus’ in this world, some far and some near who day after day are begging and desiring to be fed. What are you doing with your riches which heaven has provided for you? You may say I am not rich but poor. My friend you are among one of the richest in this world and a little consideration to give some crumbs will greatly help one Lazarus to be removed from the dust and sit in a shelter where the mosquitoes and flies will depart from licking their wounds. I am not saying for you to be a fool in squandering all your money but consider one, one poor child in the horn of Africa who is suckled upon his mother’s breast searching for milk; but it is dry. The child daily wanes away and malnutrition takes its place. The child dies and his taken to Abraham’s side. You could have helped, you can help.
Jesus continues his story, “The rich man also died and was buried, and in Hades, being in torment, he lifted up his eyes and saw Abraham far off and Lazarus at his side. And he called out ‘Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus to dip the end of his finger in water and cool my tongue, for I am in anguish in this flame”.
The rich man now knows of what it means to desire mercy, of what poor Lazarus tasted while he was here on earth. The roles are changed and his soul must now regret that he did not consider poor lazarus’ sufferings and relived it at once when it was in his power to do so. A little fish and bread each morning would have supplied Lazarus with nourishment and vitamins to relieve him of his sorrows; an invitation to live inside his gates would have protected Lazarus from the dogs who infected his wounds. But neigh, indulged in greed and self gratification he loathed Lazarus and suffered him to die. Lazarus entered into paradise while the rich man into hell. A little kindness and consideration of the poor is enough to show that one has grasped dimly the meaning of the law. To love your neighbour fulfils the whole commandments. The best neighbour for the rich man was Lazarus and our best neighbours are those like Lazarus who could never pay us back but freely in mercy give them all that we can to display the Love which the Law and gospel commands us to demonstrate.
Our Lord Jesus when he appears for the second time in His glory, and all the angels with him… will place the sheep on his right and the goats on his left. Then the King will say to those on his right, 'Come, you who are blessed by my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world.
Mat 25:35 For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me,
Mat 25:36 I was naked and you clothed me, I was sick and you visited me, I was in prison and you came to me.'
Mat 25:37 Then the righteous will answer him, saying, 'Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you drink?
Mat 25:38 And when did we see you a stranger and welcome you, or naked and clothe you?
Mat 25:39 And when did we see you sick or in prison and visit you?'
Mat 25:40 And the King will answer them, 'Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me.'
Mat 25:41 "Then he will say to those on his left, 'Depart from me, you cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels.
Mat 25:42 For I was hungry and you gave me no food, I was thirsty and you gave me no drink,
Mat 25:43 I was a stranger and you did not welcome me, naked and you did not clothe me, sick and in prison and you did not visit me.'
Mat 25:44 Then they also will answer, saying, 'Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or sick or in prison, and did not minister to you?'
Mat 25:45 Then he will answer them, saying, 'Truly, I say to you, as you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to me.'
Mat 25:46 And these will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life."
My friends let us remember the poor Lazarus’ of this world and keep with the passion of the apostle Paul who when they asked him and his team to remember the poor, he answered, it was the very thing he was eager to do. Remember the Lazarus’ of this world. Why not join me in donating for operation Christmas Child with Samaritan's purse https://occ.samaritans-purse.org.uk/donate