Jesus reminds us that this world is a place where we must respond to God’s command to care for others spiritually and materially. God uses people and situations to challenge our greed and apathy, and we must respond in the here and now.
The rich man pleads for his brothers still living in ignorance and greed to be sent a heavenly messenger to warn them of the dangers of greed. Unfortunately for those brothers, they cannot be treated as special people. God approaches them in and through those already sent, called, and commissioned. As Abra- ham tells the rich man, “If they do not listen to Moses and the prophets, neither will they be convinced even if someone rises from the dead.”
This parable does not condemn riches. It does not suggest that there is something wrong in having wealth. The major problem here is that the rich man ignores the needs and suffering of the poor man. He lives his life as if the only thing that matters is himself and his wealth. He lives as if Lazarus does not exist.
This parable challenges the greed and apathy of our time. Jesus says, “Go.” Be actively involved. Do not just give Lazarus a meal; “Go to Lazarus.” He longs for someone to make him feel human, to make him feel loved. The rich man in the parable becomes aware too late. Now is the time to act and be Christ to the world who “though he was rich, yet for your sakes he became poor” (2 Cor. 8:9), who took human form and died on the cross.
Christ our Redeemer, on this day of resurrection challenge us afresh; call us to serve you by serving others. Amen.