Today’s gospel tells of two men. On earth Dives was a rich man while Lazarus was poor. Their lives were very different: one wore fine clothing and feasted magnificently every day, and the other was covered with sores and longed for scraps from the rich man’s table.
In telling the story of these two Jesus is forcing us to notice where we place our hope and our trust.
To help us, today’s three scripture readings are grouped together to repeat and repeat the point. The first reading: A curse on the one who puts their trust in people relying on things of the flesh, whose heart turns from the Lord. The psalm: Happy are they who hope in the Lord…whose delight is the law of the Lord and who ponders God’s law day and night.
There are many people who might be materially poor yet whose lives are driven by the unhealthy desire to acquire possessions, and many others who do have material possessions yet live without attachment and with their hope in the Lord.
But we can easily fool ourselves, justifying our misleading motivations and numbing our senses to the signs given by God which direct us to life in abundance not only eternally but also here in the present.
The signs are audible and visible in our human experience, not so much in the arena of public appearance and outward shows of earthly success but in the depth of the heart. We need to discern inwardly because, in the words of today’s first reading:
The heart is more devious than any other thing,
perverse too: who can pierce its secrets?
Naturally we look for big and flashing signs to assist us in discerning our motivations, but the reality is that we seem to miss the big signs:
Then Abraham said to him,
“If they will not listen
either to Moses or to the prophets,
they will not be convinced
even if someone should rise from the dead.”’
So I’m delighted to hear that there are little heart-signs, dozens every day, helping me to experience the presence and action of Jesus, God-with-me, in every moment.
Today I’m going to notice every little sign.
FFF IN THE CAFE… Send your name and the name of a cafe or bar to email@example.com Scribble FFF on a table napkin, take a seat and wait.
DROP IN AT A GATHERING:
Wednesday 8 March 2023
12.30pm Black & White Coffee Cartel, Merrin Street (Directions) Bridget
Monday 13 March 2023 (and every Monday)
10.00am at Moko (Kudos) in the Bush Inn Centre Christchurch (Directions) Trish
Tuesday 14 March 2023
10.30am at Zenders 44 Hopkins Road, Newstead, Hamilton (Directions). Christina
And watch this space for one coming up in Fairlie, South Canterbury.
I really appreciated today’s reflection. How true, those little signs, our daily ‘Confession’ self-correcting our attitudes in our day to day encounters. Thankyou so much, I will read today’s reflection again, often, I hope.
Thank you for this thought-provoking blog post. I was particularly struck by the second scripture reading – “whose delight is the law of the Lord and who ponders God’s law day and night.” I can definitely relate to that – I’m constantly trying to learn more about God’s law and how to put it into practice in my life, and it’s a passion of mine.
I have a question, though: I’ve heard that there are different interpretations of the law of the Lord, and that some people believe there are different levels of observance. Is that true? If so, do you have any thoughts on which level of lawfulness is best for me? Thanks again for sharing this blog post!