Thursday, March 5, 2015

Let us live according to God Holy Gospel of Jesus Christ according to Saint Luke 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.'"

Gospel commented, 

Saint Gregory of Nyssa (c.335-395), monk and Bishop 
Sermon 1 on Love for the Poor : PG 46, 463-466
Let us live according to God

See how we who, in each word of holy Scripture are summoned to imitate the Lord who created us in his goodness, are yet turning everything to our own use and measuring everything by our own approval. We lay claim to possessions for our own lives and set the rest aside for our inheritors. As for people living in misery, they don’t come into the picture. And we haven’t the least care for the poor. Oh unsympathetic hearts!

Should someone see their neighbor lacking bread and the means for obtaining necessary food, far from hastening to offer that person their help so as to draw them out of their misery they observe him as one observes a flourishing plant in process of pitifully drying up for lack of water. And yet that person is overflowing with wealth and would be capable of bringing assistance to many from his goods. Just as the outflow from a single spring can water numerous fields over a vast stretch of land, so the opulence of a single house is capable of saving a large number of poor people from want, provided that parsimony and avarice do not enter in to create an obstacle like a rock which, falling into a stream, turns aside its course.

Let us not live solely according to the flesh; let us live according to God.