Friday, October 05, 2007

Friday, October 5, 2007

Today’s text

Luke 16:27-31

So he said, “Father, I beg you then to send Lazarus to my father’s house, since I have five brothers, to give them warning so that they do not come to this place of torment too.” Abraham said, “They have Moses and the prophets, let them listen to them.” The rich man replied, “Ah, no, father Abraham, but if someone comes to them from the dead, they will repent.” Then Abraham said to him, “If they will not listen either to Moses or to the prophets, they will not be convinced even if someone should rise from the dead”


Not even from the dead? What does it take before our hearts will listen to the voice that speaks life and mercy? The answer is clear enough. We know it well in our personal histories, Jesus: pain. We listen when torments of body and soul attack our flesh, turning over our tidy plans, revealing again that little of life is at our command.

We reach for good things for ourselves and families. We build foundations for living upon what we are given by circumstances of birth, talent and our good work. We celebrate our occasions--birthdays and anniversaries, new babies, graduations and promotions, seldom thinking that the next day, the next hour, the taste of our salty tears may turn bitter.

Then we are ready to listen to a voice far beyond ours to learn life again, or for the first time. Jesus, I am forever learning life again … and again. How many times must I relearn what makes for life?

And what, Jesus, would the dead tell us if we had ears to hear? Would they remind that all flesh is grass? Would they say that the Holy One created time and space as an arena for mercy? Or maybe they’d tell us, “Listen to the pain of your heart, and you will know every heart. Your pain separates life from the illusions you try to live. It frees you to hear the One you most need.”

That’s the way the dead speak to me, Jesus, as do you, who are the living and the dead and the risen again.

So let me not move far from the pains of my failures and weaknesses, Jesus. Let me live in gratitude for each of them, for they are the wings that fly me to you.

Great Mercy, hear my prayer.

Pr. David L. Miller

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