Luke 16:19-31 (Proper 21)

Luke’s Lazarus, KPB Stevens, mixed media on paper, 2022

Luke 16:19-31

Jesus said:
Once there was a rich person who dressed in purple and linen and feasted splendidly every day. At the gate of this person’s estate lay a beggar named Lazarus, who was covered with sores. Lazarus longed to eat the scraps that fell from the rich person’s table, and even the dogs came and licked Lazarus’ sores. One day poor Lazarus died and was carried by the angels to the arms of Sarah and Abraham. The rich person likewise died and was buried.
In Hades, in torment, the rich person looked up and saw Sarah and Abraham in the distance, and Lazarus resting in their company. “Sarah and Abraham,” the rich person cried, “have pity on me! Send Lazarus to dip the tip of his finger in water and cool off my tongue, for I am tortured by these flames!”
But they said, “My child, remember that you were well off in your lifetime, while Lazarus was in misery. Now Lazarus has found consolation here, and you have found torment. But that’s not all. Between you and us there is a fixed chasm, so that those who might wish to come to you from here can’t do so, nor can anyone cross from your side to us.”
The rich person said, “I beg you, then, to send Lazarus to my own house where I have five siblings. Let Lazarus be a warning to them, so that they may not end in this place of torment.”
But Sarah and Abraham replied, “They have Moses and the prophets. Let your siblings hear them.”
“Please, I beg you,” the rich person said, “if someone would only go to them from the dead, then they would repent.”
“If they don’t listen to Moses and the prophets,” Sarah and Abraham replied, “they won’t be convinced even if someone should rise from the dead!”

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