Sermon on the 22nd Sunday after Pentecost [2011]

Beloved brothers and sisters in the Lord,

The lack of mercy makes us fall from the state of rational beings, as we see happening in the parable of the rich man [Luke 16, 19-31] of today. For that what he did not…did for Lazarus the dogs of the rich man.

The dogs have come…and „licked his sores” [v. 21, acc. GNT]. And this, undoubtedly, for that we must be man and not dogs at soul with our neighbor.

And the Lord does not incriminate here the wealth, in first row…but he highlights the social catastrophe that produces the indifference to others.

The prosperity is a test of our character.

When we have sufficiently…better said: when God gives us to have greatly…He put us to the test, for that He would see and we see…if we remain people with character…when we are rich.

But Lazarus, Saint Lazarus, is not poor and sick but only for that the rich man to show his callousness/ insensibility…but because poverty, disease, failure are on the agenda.

The rich may be, at least once, compassionate with Lazarus. Lazarus jumped in his eyes…because he was at his gate [v. 20].

Namely the rich man should not make too many efforts for that to be human…because it was enough to see Lazarus, the man who stands on his door…and to help him.

And this thing tells us, that the mercy begins with the first which we see…with who is with us. For that the mercy is a trait of the human’s character, just his dignity, his personal brightness.

We are people as long we have compassion and sincerity in relations between us.

Because God is the source of the interpersonal relations…and He does not support boorishness, imposture, lack of decency in the face of the dramas of humanity.

And our postmodern mentality is very indecent with the personal dramas then when in the cases are rich, influential men…and very indifferent with disasters from the lives of the poor and helpless.

That is why the news of dead and wounded arrived some boring enumerations. We expect someone to die, to be any earthquake, any fire, and any failure of an aircraft…because we have learned with catastrophes, with morbidity.

We look at these images with detachment…and even with irony. And this, because we are just as sick as the rich man from the parable…we are sick of callousness.

And the rich man began to see the disease of callousness just after what he died…and he arrived in the hell of unloved to God [v. 23].

Because the Hell is an expression of our hearts, cold and indifferent, to God’s boundless love for us. The Hell is us, which are no longer passionated than the love of ourselves, at a rapacious desire to have and to destroy everything is beautiful around.

The Hell is a flame [v. 24], an unbearable flame for the soul closed at relations and love, for that is the unbearableness of the Gods love toward people.

Saint Lazarus is together with Saint Abraham and all Saints not because he was poor…but because he accepted and has lived the condition of the poor, helpless and sick all the way…in faith and patience.

For that the patience of faith is put here in antithesis with a perpetual callousness. And when the rich man asks mercy for his house [v. 28]…also he prays that a selfish…because he thinks only at his brothers.

Only that, being in Hell, the rich man tells the truth about himself: is into a place of torment [Ibidem]. Because indifference, callousness, boorishness is not without real consequences, direct, in our being.

Therefore we build our Hell from here, with all the passion and the sin that we collect in our bosom. We build it… instead of systematically destroying it through repentance and through confession of our sins.

But from the last verse, we learn that obedience to God is more important than miracles [v. 31].

Saint Lazarus endured in faith…being unheeded…and without to have part of a miracle. But he did not drop at the faith in God…the thing that he would have done in the pathetic state in which he was.

The conclusion of the parable? Virtue will be rewarded with true by God…even if people see it or see it not in us. And the holy life is priceless virtue, because it is imperishable.

And when this world will transfigure…then will remain imperishable holiness…and all we will see the crucial importance of life now, what we did with it and what we became because of it.

Live well and die well! Die into resurrection of life! For that is death to life, joy and eternal life. Amen!

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