Reading: Luke 16: 19-31
If asked which character we would like to be in today’s reading, there would be a long pause before we answered. If we look at the end of the story, we all want to be Lazarus. We would all choose heaven as our eternal destination. But within the story, do we want to be poor beggars in this life? When we are really honest, we’d prefer to be both the rich man and Lazarus – the rich man now and Lazarus later.
So we finally settle on being Lazarus? Or do we settle on being the rich man? Truth be told, when we look at the model of our faith, at Jesus, we see the middle ground. Jesus certainly did not pursue wealth yet was definitely content with life. He did not dress in expensive clothes or eat gourmet food. But He was not starving and always had a place to live His head at night. Jesus trusted fully in God alone. He knew God’s love intimately and fully trusted that God would provide for His every need.
The rich man only truly saw Lazarus when he died. He finally saw what Jesus sees all the time. He saw them as they were. In everyone Jesus saw and encountered, He sought to meet their need. Sometimes even they did not know their own real need, so Jesus sometimes delved below the surface. He got to know people that others avoided or shunned. He entered into their lives and walked alongside them. He did what the rich man never would have done.
The rich man, Lazarus, or Jesus? Who do we strive to be more like? It is an obvious answer but a hard path to walk. May the power and presence of the Holy Spirit lead us on the path of Jesus, fully trusting in God, loving all of God’s children.