- The parable of the rich
man and Lazarus
- (Luke 16, 19-31)
A rich man lives in luxury. He has every thing. At his gate
a tramp is hungry. He is sick and suffers a lot. No communication
between these two men.
After their death, the situation is reversed: the rich man is
in a place of torment when the poor man is in happiness. An abyss
is separating them. No communication can be established between
This little story is not for helping us to imagine heaven. It
is for telling us how it is urgent to convert here and now. It
is today that we are risking of "shutting oneself up"
without seeing those who are in need. If we install a distance
between us and the poor, this distance will be kept after death.
It is now the time to make a choice.
In the parable the rich man's name is not given. His only identification
is his possessions. He needs nobody. When he was alive, he never
entered into communication with the poor who came to his doorstep.
He did not see or hear him. He lived in close circle.
This rich man is alone. He is not anymore moving. He is not anymore
in need. But how can he be alive without exchange and contacts?
He is already dead. Long before his death he dig by himself the
gulf that separated him from the others. All his life he had
been terribly distant from the patriarch Abraham, known for his
On the contrary the poor had a name, it was Lazarus, which
means "God helps". He was in need of a good health
and of food, he spent his days begging and waiting. He turned
towards the other men to be able to live.
After their death, the rich man and Lazarus are separated by
a gulf: the gulf of no communication. The distance existing during
their life has become impassable.
From his place of suffering, the rich man who is experimenting
the need, now thinks about his family and implores God: "
If somebody coming from the dead could go and find them, they
But the one who speaks in this parable is Jesus, the only
man to be definitely back from the dead. Through his spirit,
he always gives us the choice. There is an emergency of not forgetting
those who need help.