September 25

Reflection

If they will not listen to Moses and the prophets,
neither will they be persuaded if someone should rise from the dead.
Luke 16:31

 

There is a closed rigidity that lives in its own world. No matter what the factual evidence may be, a view based in one’s own perception or bias prevents openness to the surrounding reality. In this parable the rich man’s condemnation was not because he was wealthy but because he was indifferent. Life was good. The fact that there was a hungry, homeless, sick person on his doorstep was of no importance to him. He was too callous to try to understand the need of another. He was one of the the “haves”; let the “have nots” fend for themselves. The message of this story speaks to our own time. The facts are there but paying attention to them would be too problematic. It’s easier to ignore the facts and blame the victims. How many times have we heard “They are lazy and live on handouts”,”Guns don’t kill people, people do”,”Climate change is not the result of human actions”. We can all recite the lengthy litany that excuses action. Meanwhile the decisive words of Jesus resonate down the centuries: ”If they will not listen to Moses and the prophets, neither will they be persuaded if someone should rise from the dead.”

Prayer

Lord, that I may see!

Action

Read the parable in its context. Reflect on it. What contemporary parallels can you draw from Jesus’ words?

 Suggested Reading

He said, ‘Then I beg you, father,
send him to my father’s house, for I have five brothers,
so that he may warn them,
lest they too come to this place of torment.’
But Abraham replied, ‘They have Moses and the prophets.
Let them listen to them.’
He said, ‘Oh no, father Abraham,
but if someone from the dead goes to them, they will repent.’
Then Abraham said, ‘If they will not listen to Moses and the prophets,
neither will they be persuaded if someone should rise from the dead.
Luke 16:19-31

You have seen many things, but you do not observe them; Your ears are open, but none hears.
Isaiah 42:20

They have turned their back to me and not their face; though I taught them, teaching again and again, they would not listen and receive instruction.
Jeremiah 32:33 

The opposite of love is not hate, it’s indifference.
Elie Wiesel

The death of democracy is not likely to be an assassination from ambush. It will be a slow extinction from apathy, indifference, and undernourishment.
Robert M. Hutchins

Apathy is a sort of living oblivion.
Horace Greeley

A closed mind is a dying mind.
Edna Ferber

You may live in an imperfect world but the frontiers are not closed and the doors are not all shut.
Maxwell Maltz

We are not cisterns made for hoarding, we are channels made for sharing.
Billy Graham
 

 

 

 

 

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