Commentary on the Gospel of

Fr. Johnson Joseph Thurackal CMF


Walls are rising worldwide. In the 21st century almost 65 countries have added thousands of Kilometers walls along their borders from Greece -Macedonia to North-South Korea. A ‘fortress mentality’ is on the rise everywhere and in everyone precisely to keep out the needy and the vulnerable brethren like migrants, jobless and seekers of compassion, dignity and affection. The world today is ever more convinced of the famous line of the French Philosopher Jean Paul Sartre, “Hell is other people.”

The image of the rich man and Lazarus depicts the growing insensibility among the people. The frantic craze for possession and accumulation has blinded our world. A healing for this obsession is the way forward. “We need to escape from the insanity of hoarding everything for ourselves in the illusory belief that we can secure a future that does not belong to us.” said Pope Francis. The wisdom offered by As Saint Teresa of Avila in The Way of Perfection could inspire: “simplicity comprises many virtues. It is a vast domain. I tell you, whoever despises all earthly goods is master of them all” (2:5). The sharp contrast is: one truly accumulates and conquers by sharing and caring. In the Lenten message of this year, Pope Francis said, “unless we tend constantly towards Easter, towards the horizon of the Resurrection, the mentality expressed in the slogans “I want it all and I want it now!” and “Too much is never enough”, gains the upper hand.  A genuine conversion will let us stand beside our brothers and sisters in need, sharing our spiritual and material goods with them and to dismantle the economic and emotional walls built to stop our ears from hearing the cry of the other.

Abraham, in the Gospel, hints that the walls that we build to keep the tears of Lazarus off, can turn into a chasm that can eternally separate us from God.


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