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The Rich man and Lazarus

[Gal. 6:11–18; Luke 16:19–31] The para­ble about the rich man and Lazarus shows that those who do not live as they should will sud­den­ly wake up to real­i­ty, but they will no longer have the oppor­tu­ni­ty to cor­ rect their state. Their eyes will open and they will clear­ly see where the truth lies. Remem­ber­ing that on the earth there are many who are blind as they were, they would like some­ one to be sent from the dead for the assur­ance that one must live and under­stand things only accord­ing to the indi­ca­tion of the Lord’s Revela­ tion. But they will be denied even this, because for those who desire to know the truth, Rev­e­la­tion alone is a wit­ness. But for those who do not desire it, and do not love the truth, even the res­ur­rec­tion of the dead will not be con­vinc­ing. The feel­ings of the rich man in this para­ble are prob­a­bly felt by every­one who de­ parts this life. Consequently,accord­ ing to the con­vic­tion of that world which will be the con­vic­tion of us all, the only guid­ance for us on the path of life is the Lord’s Rev­e­la­tion. But there, for many, this con­vic­tion will have come too late — it would have been more use­ful here, but not every­one had it. We will believe, at least, the tes­ti­mo­ny of those there, putting our­selves into their state. Those who are in tor­ments do not lie; pity­ing us they want our eyes to be opened, that we not come to the place of their tor­ment. We can­not say of this sub­ject as we often do of cur­rent affairs, “Maybe some­how things will go all right.” No; it will not just go all right some­how. We must be fun­da­men­tal­ly cer­tain that we will not find our­selves in the place of the rich man.

Saint Theo­phan the Recluse