WE are writing forward to Ordinary Time 26 C, and we have the parable of Dives and Lazarus. “Purple garments and fine linens” suggests the imperial family, if not the emperor himself, because only they wore purple. Jesus is connecting the pharisees with the Romans. Sumptuous dining every day suggests an outrageous display of wealth. In contrast to the purple linen garments of the rich man, Lazarus wears a garment of sores. The licking dogs suggests his ritual impurity and proximity to death. The deaths of the two are identical but not where they find themselves afterwards. The netherworld is not quite the later understanding of Hell in Christian cosmology.

It is the dialogue between the rich man and Abraham that is interesting, after the details of the setting are noted. Lazarus never says a word in all the parable, that appears only in Luke. The question is this; what is the consolation you wish: one here in the world or one in the world to come? It is also a parable about acceptance and rejection, about death and resurrection.

Alan Hartway

Theological Studies at Catholic Theological Union, Chicago IL; Master of Fine Arts, Poetics, at Naropa University, Boulder CO 1996; Master of Arts, Greek Classics, University of Colorado, Boulder CO 2012; Taught at Naropa University from 1999 through 2015; Chair of Interdisciplinary Studies from 2007-2015; Member of the Missionaries of the Precious Blood, Kansas City Province since 1974; Pastor at Guardian Angel Catholic Church, Mead, CO, ministry from 2007-2020 Currently Retired

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