Nineteenth Sunday after Pentecost
In the name of the Father and of the + Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.
"It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God," Jesus says in St. Luke's 18th chapter. These words probably ring clear after listening to today's parable. By today's standards of social justice and the social gospel of American civil religion, we feel hate and anger toward the rich man for his neglect and contempt toward Lazarus, because he is rich and we are not. And we feel pity toward the downtrodden Lazarus, because he has nothing but sores and is in need of any and all help he can get. It is only fitting, by our logic, that "[t]he time came when the beggar died and the angels carried him to Abraham's side," or heaven, and "[t]he rich man also died and was buried" and went to hell.