Commentary on the Gospel of

Paulson Veliyannoor, CMF - Claretian Publications Philippines - Victoria Sanchez - Teacher in Madrid

Intentions vs Actions

Amos condemns those who live a luxurious life without a care for others. Paul exhorts Timothy to be pure and blameless before God. Jesus gives us the parable of Lazarus and the rich man, to remind us that we are indeed our brothers and sisters’ keepers.

There is something noble about the rich man in today’s parable. He is languishing in the netherworld; but he has no attack of envy or fury, seeing Lazarus in heaven. He even knows Lazarus by name! Further, even when he is burning in hell, he thinks of his brothers and wants them to be spared of the same fate! If we were to meet this guy while he was alive on earth, he would definitely come across as gentle, caring, and courteous. He could even pass off as a diplomat in the United Nations, working for world peace! Yet, he has ended up in hell! Perhaps the lesson is this: None of our best intentions or chapter documents or wonderfully conceived sustainable developmental goals would suffice in the Kingdom: what is needed is concrete action on the ground, wiping the tears of the neighbors, caring for their needs. 

Identify the needs of someone around you and pray for him/her.

… and provide for him/her.


"Now he is comforted here";

If we want to be men and women, as St. Paul asks Timothy, we must keep the commandment of love, We must keep the commandment of love: "To love God and to love our neighbour".

And to love your neighbour as yourself also means to commit yourself to building a more just world in which to build a more just world, where everyone has access to the goods of the earth, where everyone has the possibility to fulfil themselves as persons and as families, where fundamental rights and dignity are guaranteed.

Death is the end of man's time of probation. As in this parable of the rich man Epulon and the poor Lazarus, which the evangelist Luke presents to us today. When Jesus began to preach, the originality of his message was that he spoke exclusively about salvation.

His parables were exclusively about salvation, not about "salvation and condemnation". His parables on forgiveness and his attitude of mercy show how far salvation was the sole aim of his preaching. I have not come to condemn the world but to save it" (Jn.12,47).

However, in some of his teachings he admits the possibility of eternal damnation. For example, when he speaks of "losing one's life" (Mk 8,35), "losing one's soul and body" (Mt 8,35).

Today's parable does not intend to describe the hereafter, but rather that the present is fixed in eternity.

Thus, God does not place the destitute Lazarus, the abandoned, the mistreated, the one who pines for the crumbs that fall from the rich man's table.

Today, the present life of so many Lazarus, challenges a world that listens neither to the voice of God nor to his prophets and that God and his prophets and which despises its neighbours.

Jesus does not intend to scare us primarily with a hell, or to console us with a future paradise. Rather, he intends to show us how heaven begins where the word of God resounds, which allows us to meet our brother.

While we hope to avoid the hell of the hereafter, let us avoid the hell that exists here, and that we build when we do not love.

Prayer: Lord, do not let us turn a deaf ear to your voice, which calls us from the most suffering and helpless.  Praise, O my soul, the evil Lord.



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