When the poor man died, he was carried away by angels to the bosom of Abraham.
It was very stressful last week.
It was as if I was being attacked at all sides. I wasn’t myself and I was irritable.
After everything got sorted out, I got back to my normal self.
One evening, after I gave my son his evening bath, he put his head on my chest, hugged me and out of the blue he said, “I’m glad you’re back.”
And that struck me.
First, because he is so young and yet so perceptive. Second, because I felt it was God’s message to me, too.
This Sunday’s reading is about the Rich Man and Lazarus.
In the Bible, rich people were used as examples of individuals who had “attachments”. In their case, it was their wealth.
In our case, it could mean different things. What is the thing you’re attached to that’s keeping you from God?
In my case this week, it was my pride and ego.
I needed grace to be humble.
And one definition of Grace is the power and DESIRE to do God’s will.
Gratia Actuosa is Actual Grace which is grace we ask for with reference to a particular action.
When we’re mad at someone, it’s hard to make a decision to forgive. So one prayer to help with this is to ask for the grace to WANT to forgive that person who has offended you. And that’s the first step. And according to our priest, this is actually a good theological prayer.
Gratia Cooperans is Cooperating Grace. This is the grace to cooperate with God’s plans. This is said to be a sign of spiritual maturity. And this requires humility.
And this is where some people fall. Because they don’t know how to “dance”.
Just like when we learn how to dance, we have to follow the dance instructor, it’s the same thing when we live in the Spirit. We have to follow God’s will.
And God’s will is for us to love one another and to be at peace with each other.
You see, we live in a deeply wounded world.
If you’ve been hurt or if you’ve hurt someone’s feelings – the good news is there’s confession.
God knows we can’t do it by our own. And sometimes, we do feel powerless. So that’s why God gives us graces to strengthen us along our journey.
Today, I went to confession this afternoon. And it was as if a dark cloud was lifted from me.
It felt really good. I am at peace again.
The same peace that comes from my son’s hug.
The same peace that we probably will one day experience in the bosom of Abraham.
Thank you, Lord, for your grace that makes us gracious. Gratia gratius faciens.
P.S. In the parable of the Rich Man and Lazarus, Lazarus desired the crumbs that fell from the Rich Man’s table. However, the parable doesn’t indicate whether Lazarus did get the crumbs. It only takes 2 cents to ship a meal to the poor malnourished children in the Philippines. Please support Risen Savior Missions and save a child from dying from starvation. If you haven’t checked it out yet, go to http://www.risensaviormissions.org to donate or share this article with your family or friends.
P.P.S. Did you know that among the parables, this was the only one that had a name of a character? Some scholars say the significance of this was it might’ve been based on a true story.