Bible Diary English

March 17, 2022

First Reading: Jer 17:5-10
Psalm:  Ps 1:1-2, 3, 4 & 6
Blessed are they who hope in the Lord.
Gospel: Lk 16:19-31

Thu: Lenten Weekday/ Patrick, bp, ms
Jer 17: 5-10/ Ps 1: 1-2. 3. 4 and 6/ Lk 16: 19-31

1st Reading: Jer 17:5-10
This is what Yahweh says,
“Cursed is the man who trusts in human beings and depends on a mortal for his life, while his heart is drawn away from Yahweh!
He is like a bunch of thistles in dry land, in parched desert places, in a salt land where no one lives and who never finds happiness.
Blessed is the man who puts his trust in Yahweh and whose confidence is in him! He is like a tree planted by the water, sending out its roots towards the stream.
He has no fear when the heat comes, his leaves are always green; the year of drought is no problem and he can always bear fruit.
Most deceitful is the heart. What is there within man, who can understand him? I, Yahweh, search the heart and penetrate the mind. I reward each one according to his ways and the fruit of his deeds.

Responsorial Psalm; Ps 1:1-2, 3, 4 & 6
Blessed are they who hope in the Lord.

Gospel: Lk 16:19-31
Once there was a rich man who dressed in purple and fine linen and feasted every day. At his gate lay Lazarus, a poor man covered with sores, who longed to eat just the scraps falling from the rich man’s table. Even dogs used to come and lick his sores. It happened that the poor man died, and angels carried him to take his place with Abraham. The rich man also died, and was buried. From the netherworld where he was in torment, the rich man looked up and saw Abraham afar off, and with him Lazarus at rest.
He called out, ‘Father Abraham, have pity on me, and send Lazarus, with the tip of his finger dipped in water, to cool my tongue, for I suffer so much in this fire!’
Abraham replied, ‘My son, remember that in your lifetime you were well-off, while the lot of Lazarus was misfortune. Now he is in comfort, and you are in agony. But that is not all. Between your place and ours a great chasm has been fixed, so that no one can cross over from here to you, or from your side to us.’
The rich man implored once more, ‘Then I beg you, Father Abraham, send Lazarus to my father’s house, where my five brothers live. Let him warn them, so that they may not end up in this place of torment.’ Abraham replied, ‘They have Moses and the prophets. Let them listen to them.’ But the rich man said, ‘No, Father Abraham; but if someone from the dead goes to them, they will repent.’
Abraham said, ‘If they will not listen to Moses and the prophets, they will not be convinced, even if someone rises from the dead.’”




Descent into Hell
Abraham’s words about crossing over the chasm are strange. Well, we can understand, with genuine empathy, someone from the burning netherworld wanting to cross over to a place of heavenly bliss. But Abraham speaks of someone crossing over from his side to the netherworld! Who, in good sense, would want to cross over from a heavenly place to the fires of the netherworld? The saints would! Didn’t Mother Teresa say, “I will continually be absent from heaven, to light the light of those in darkness on earth”? If they could help one soul from hell to reach heaven, they would risk their heaven to jump into hell. In this, they are simply imitating their Master, who descended to hell after his death. Here lies the difference between us, ordinary Christians, and saints: Whereas we are obsessed with saving ourselves, the saints are “hell-bent” on saving others!