There was a rich man who dressed in purple garments and fine linen
and dined sumptuously each day. And lying at his door was a poor
man named Lazarus, covered with sores.
This is a harsh parable: the result of the rich man's
selfishness is eternal fiery torment, while the poor man
resides with Abraham in heaven. The rich might cry foul at
the outcome, saying it is unfair, while the poor find it
hopeful. But neither reaction is exactly right. It's best not
to press the parables too hard for one meaning. They are
brilliantly designed to speak to each of us in every season.
At times we will be the rich man—too self-absorbed to
notice or care that someone needs our tenderness—and at
others, we will be the lowly outcast.
Amos 6:1a, 4–7
Psalm 146:7, 8–9, 9–10 (1b)
1 Timothy 6:11–16
Excerpts from the New American Bible with Revised New Testament and Psalms Copyright © 1991, 1988, 1970 by the Confraternity of Christian Doctrine, Washington, D.C. Used with permission. All Rights Reserved. No part of the New American Bible may be reproduced in any form without permission in writing from the copyright owner.