In the Parable of the Rich Man and Lazarus, Christ offers a frighting look into the eternal damnation of those who ignore the plight of the poor. In the parable, the Rich Man spends his days in gluttony, eating exquisite meals while right in his front yard, the poor Lazarus is starving, tormented by wild dogs who lick at his wounds.

Both die and go to Hades, a realm of the dead where all who die reside prior to Christ’s opening of Heaven after His Resurrection. Though in Hades, Lazarus enters in the relative comfort of Abraham’s bosom, being united with the just of the Old Testament. Because of his callous disregard for Lazarus’ plight, the Rich Man is cast into depths of Hades where the evil reside in suffering in eternity.

Christ reveals disturbing details of the plight of the damned.  The damned are aware of their plight, both in what they are eternally experiencing and that others (like Lazarus) are comforted. An inferno of flames engulf the evil, leaving them in thirsty anguish. The damned will be without hope, unable to exit the burning Hell or to have any influence on the fates of their families.

Awed by Jesus ChristSon of God with the Father for eternity, has knowledge of the realities of both Heaven and Hell. Divine Prophet, Christ constructs memorable parables to offer a warning of the torments of Hell for those still on earth.  Divine Judge, Christ determines who will be admitted into Heaven and who will be cast into Hell.

Being a Heroic Catholic Man

1) It is common for men to skim over Scripture and fail to grasp the astounding nature of Christ. Reflect with awe on the fact that Christ is speaking with first-hand experience about the realities of Hell.

2) Men desire justice, a putting of things “right” in which they are treated fairly; but most men don’t seek justice, they seek advantage.  God’s Justice is perfect: reflect on the justice exacted on the Rich Man who rejected God in life and was granted his desire in the afterlife.

3) While many Catholic men may convince themselves they would relieve the obvious suffering of Lazarus, there remains massive suffering in the world that is apparent to any who don’t avert their eyes.  Respond to Christ’s call to the Corporal Works of Mercy and commit to perform some act of mercy this week.

Spiritual Practices – Include in Today’s Prayers

Sacred Mystery of Rosary – The Glorious Mysteries

Daily Devotion – The Blessed Trinity

Virtue of the Day – Charity

Corporal Work of Mercy – To feed the hungry

Spiritual Work of Mercy – To admonish the sinner