To be RICH

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The WORD in other words (2022) by Fr Semei Rebayla SVD — Holy Name University of Tagbilaran, Bohol

Thursday 2nd Week of Lent

It’s everyone’s dream to be rich, but nobody wants to follow the rich man’s fate in the Gospel. But there’s a piece of good news, we can be rich and take part in the heavenly abode at the same time. How? Consider the following points. The acronym is R I C H.

R-relationship. The Gospel didn’t elaborate on who dined with the rich man. But one thing for sure is that he dined sumptuously each day. Abundant food was his companion at the table. Lazarus, on the other hand, was accompanied by hungry dogs. Both were practically lonely except that the rich man enjoyed his sumptuous meal while the poor Lazarus was starving.

One of the many things that sustains every relationship is eating together. Had the rich man shared his food, a connection would have been established, and his fate would be a happy ending. What matters most in life is not the richness but the relationship with God and everyone.

I-indifference. The cause of the rich man’s unfortunate fate was not about the sin of commission but of omission. The blessing he could have shared with the poor could not even practically make him poor. It was his indifference that led him to perdition. But what made him indifferent? He didn’t take the words of Moses and the prophets regarding the care of the poor seriously. That’s why Abraham denied the rich man’s request to send Lazarus to his five brothers. They would not listen either.

C-conversion. Conversion should be done while we are still alive and can still share our life with others. Every single day and circumstance is an opportunity to realign ourselves with God’s will. The heart of the wealthy man should have melted when he saw the sufferings of the poor Lazarus. Sad to say, he was not even disturbed.

H-heaven or hell. Our dealings with our brothers and sisters define our heavenly destiny: heaven or hell. The first reading warns us: “Cursed is the one who trusts in man…but blessed is the one who trusts in the Lord.” (Jeremiah 7, 5)

Indeed, we can be rich both on earth and in heaven. Be rich and never forget to enrich the lives of the less fortunate as well.

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