Reflection for March 9, Thursday of the Second Week of Lent

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FIRST READING
“Cursed is the man who trusts in man, blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord.”
A reading from the Book of Jeremiah 17:5-10

Thus says the Lord: “Cursed is the man who trusts in man and makes flesh his arm, whose heart turns away from the Lord. He is like a shrub in the desert, and shall not see any good come. He shall dwell in the parched places of the wilderness, in an uninhabited salt land. “Blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord, whose trust is the LORD. He is like a tree planted by water, that sends out its roots by the stream, and does not fear when heat comes, for its leaves remain green, and is not anxious in the year of drought, for it does not cease to bear fruit.” The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately corrupt; who can understand it? “I the Lord search the mind and try the heart, to give to every man according to his ways, according to the fruit of his doings.”

The word of the Lord.

RESPONSORIAL PSALM Psalm 1:1-2.3.4 and 6 (Psalm 40:5ab)
R/. Blessed the man who has placed his trust in the Lord.

Blessed indeed is the man
who follows not the counsel of the wicked,
nor stands in the path with sinners,
nor abides in the company of scorners,
but whose delight is the law of the Lord,
and who ponders his law day and night. R/.

He is like a tree that is planted
beside the flowing waters,
that yields its fruit in due season,
and whose leaves shall never fade;
and all that he does shall prosper. R/.

R/. Blessed the man who has placed his trust in the Lord.

Not so are the wicked, not so!
For they, like winnowed chaff,
shall be driven away by the wind.
For the Lord knows the way of the just,
but the way of the wicked will perish. R/.

VERSE BEFORE THE GOSPEL Luke 8: 15
Glory and praise to you, O Christ.
Blessed are those who, hearing the word, hold it fast in an honest and good heart, and bring forth fruit with patience.
Glory and praise to you, O Christ.

GOSPEL
Good things came to you and bad things to Lazarus, now he is comforted while you are in agony.
A reading from the holy Gospel according to Luke 1 6: 19-31

At that time: Jesus said to the Pharisees, “There was a rich man, who was clothed in purple and fine linen and who feasted sumptuously every day. And at his gate lay a poor man named Lazarus, full of sores, who desired to be fed with what fell from the rich man’s table; moreover the dogs came and licked his sores. The poor man died and was carried by the angels to Abraham’s bosom. The rich man also died and was buried; and in Hades, being in torment, he lifted up his eyes, and saw Abraham far off and Lazarus in his bosom. And he called out, ‘Father Abraham, have mercy upon me, and send Lazarus to dip the end of his finger in water and cool my tongue; for I am in anguish in this flame.’ “But Abraham said, ‘Son, remember that you in your lifetime received your good things, and Lazarus in like manner evil things; but now he is comforted here, and you are in anguish. And besides all this, between us and you a great chasm has been fixed, in order that those who would pass from here to you may not be able, and none may cross from there to us. ’ And he said, ‘Then I beg you, father, to send him to my father’s house, for I have five brothers, so that he may warn them, lest they also come into this place of torment. ’But Abraham said, ‘They have Moses and the prophets; let them hear them.’ And he said ‘No, father Abraham; but if someone goes to them from the dead, they will repent. ’ He said to him, ‘If they do not hear Moses and the prophets, neither will they be convinced if someone should rise from the dead.”’

The Gospel of the Lord.

TODAY’S REFLECTION IS A MESSAGE FROM LAZARUS
My name is Lazarus, I am sure you still recognize me. My body was always covered with sores, your house dogs loved licking my sores. I was always there by your gate, and I knew you had more than enough to eat and drink, every day you had a party in this house.  You always invited people to come and dine with you. You invited senators, governors, and the richest businessmen and women but you never looked at me. You did not consider me a human being because I was poor.

Each time you saw me, you pretended as if I don’t exist. You wished I could just disappear. You thought I was simply lazy or that I was being cursed for living in such an impoverished condition. You blamed my condition on the government and everybody else but never saw yourself as capable of helping me. You didn’t realize I was a gift to you. When I died, I went to heaven and was taken to Abraham’s side but your Oga also died and was taken to Hell Fire. From the midst of hell, he saw me and begged Abraham to ask me to dip my finger in water to cool his tongue.

In life, he had gallons of water to drink and waste and here he was begging for just one drop. And he couldn’t get the drop so he begged Abraham to send me to you to warn you. Your Oga still loves you, he doesn’t want you to come and experience hell fire so I am here to warn you. Hell is real, please do your best to avoid it! Be kind and generous to the poor and needy.
Whatsoever you do to the least of my brothers, Jesus says, that you do unto me. Don’t share your food only with the rich, also invite poor people to the table. You can afford to spray dollars at the occasion and people like me are scattered all over the place unable to eat even one meal a day. Above all, I want you to know that God sees everything that happens. For years I was there at your gate, God was giving you countless opportunities to change your heart and do something but you refused. I warn you now before it is too late.

Although Abraham told your Oga that even if someone rises from the dead, you will not believe, I decided to come all the same. Believe me or not, my name is Lazarus and this is my message to you!

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