The Gospel Reading for Thursday of the Second Week in Lent is scary for those who fail to repent and return to the Lord:
Luke 16:19-31: “Jesus said to the Pharisees:
‘There was a rich man who dressed in purple garments and fine linen
and dined sumptuously each day.
And lying at his door was a poor man named Lazarus, covered with sores,
who would gladly have eaten his fill of the scraps
that fell from the rich man’s table.
Dogs even used to come and lick his sores.
When the poor man died,
he was carried away by angels to the bosom of Abraham.
The rich man also died and was buried,
and from the netherworld, where he was in torment,
he raised his eyes and saw Abraham far off
and Lazarus at his side.
And he cried out, ‘Father Abraham, have pity on me.
Send Lazarus to dip the tip of his finger in water and cool my tongue,
for I am suffering torment in these flames.’
Abraham replied, ‘My child,
remember that you received what was good during your lifetime
while Lazarus likewise received what was bad;
but now he is comforted here, whereas you are tormented.
Moreover, between us and you a great chasm is established
to prevent anyone from crossing
who might wish to go from our side to yours
or from your side to ours.’
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.” “
A scary thought, for many people hope to live life on their own terms and maybe “convert” or “repent” on the deathbed, when no more worldly “fun” can be had. Or maybe take a risk and negotiate or pray before God after death. Or worse, assume there is no Hell and that everyone gets into Heaven.
There is a clear message here from Jesus that there is little time to waste and much to risk. You’ve been told often enough about Heaven and Hell, there are no excuses for not heeding the words of Scripture. They are as real as anyone who has passed into the afterlife, no communication from the dead for verification of what is next is needed. God does not deceive.
On which side of the chasm do you wish to be on? If you are reading this then chances are you are sober or sobering up. Perhaps you have received a number of “coincidences” in your life that have helped you to survive your alcoholism and you’re learning that God is drawing you to Him. He wants you to be free of your alcoholism and grow closer to Him.
Continue your path and repent of your sins. Study Sacred Scripture and discover Jesus there.Know someone, perhaps yourself, who might like Catholic devotionals for alcoholics? Please take a look at my books! (Thank you!!)"The Stations of the Cross for Alcoholics"