Lk 16:19-31 Hope In the Lord
There is no better or more appropriate title for this meditation than the one above. And so, what do we place our hopes in? No, really? What do I place my hopes in? A better love life? Health? More money?
I have had the immense displeasure of being locked up in the rectory for a few days now. I won’t bore you with the details but I will say that I had to do the unthinkable for me: I watched some TV. I was going nuts! I can read, and read a lot. I can meditate and watch the birds in the sky and all that stuff. I can plan and organize for the following week, even month. But, eventually, I needed to hear someone’s voice! So, I turned on the TV.
I will be very honest with you. I have not watched TV in a very long time. Really! Once in a while, when I visit a family and it’s the Super Bowl…yes, ok, but to watch TV alone, my eyes, ears and mind focused on what is in front of me and listen to the commercials in their entirety, it’s been a while. All I can say is, THANK YOU LORD! Thank you for having removed from my life this source of garbage. In seventeen years, it hasn’t gotten better. No. It has gotten far worse than I had ever imagined.
There are three commercials that appear to play non-stop: Gold, Lawsuits and Male/Female Dysfunctions. This is where we are today. The twenty-first century! America at its best?
I kept asking myself, why has the value of Gold climbed so high? And why do they want me to buy it? It finally dawned on me that someone, or some group, must have bought tons of gold when it was cheap (cheaper) and is now selling it at a much higher price. In other words, the price of gold went up artificially, creating an artificial demand for it so that the price will go up even higher.
The other commercials are self-evident: Power and Sex. So we have the three plagues that have plagued humanity for centuries: Power, Money and Sex. We are no different than our ancestors, except our ways of exploiting the sick, stealing from the poor and ignorant, and pursuing happiness have improved tremendously. Oh, what technology can do for us!
“Blessed are they who hope in the Lord” (Ps. 40: 5a). “Cursed the man who trusts in human beings, who seeks his strength in flesh!”
No, the Lord does not predispose some to live a life like Lazarus – a life of misery, illness and shame. Neither does he condemn all who are rich and famous! Rather, he asks us to love God above all these things, and to love our neighbors and to treat them as we would want to be treated.
We can easily distinguish between those who have and those who have not. But, the true scandal is when I cannot distinguish between the Christian and the non-Christian. This is where the heart of Jesus is torn apart. This is where the great chasm occurs. “Between us and you a great chasm is established.”
Let us heal the heart of Jesus. Let us go out of our way to be true to our name.