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At mass this morning the second reading was from Luke 16:19-31:

When the poor man died, he was carried away by angels to the bosom of Abraham.
The rich man also died and was buried …

It really caught my attention that the poor man, Lazarus, was carried away by angels but the rich man simply “was buried.”

I have been pondering that point – one man carried away by angels, another was buried. Angels for one … I suppose human beings buried the other?

And this line of thinking brought me back to the first reading from the same mass. From Jer 17:5-10:

Thus says the LORD:
Cursed is the man who trusts in human beings,
who seeks his strength in flesh,
whose heart turns away from the LORD

He is like a barren bush in the desert
that enjoys no change of season,
But stands in a lava waste,
a salt and empty earth.

The rich man, suffering in the netherworld, certainly was like a barren bush in the desert, standing in a lava waste, a salt and empty earth!

As I listened to the rest of the story of the rich man and Lazarus, I was reminded of a reflection that pointed out how the rich man still didn’t “see” Lazarus. He only addressed Abraham, asking him to instruct Lazarus to quench his thirst, to go warn his brothers. Even in the netherworld, the rich man continued treating Lazarus as someone to be sent to do his bidding.

I appreciate how daily readings from the old and new testaments compliment each other, even if they aren’t obviously nor directly related! Interesting readings today.

 

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