“THE CHASM IS ONLY BREACHED BY CHRIST ‘THE’ ANGEL”
Saint Luke 16. 19-31
1st Sunday after Trinity: 22 June Anno + Domini 2014
Fr Jay Watson SSP
In The + Name of Jesus
The chasm is only breached by Christ THE Angel.
“O Lord I have trusted in Thy mercy.” But do you? Or do you put your hope in family and friends? Do you rely on your talents and monetary resources? And, what do you do with all your money?
“Blessed is he that considereth the poor.” But do you? Do you care only for your “five brothers” because they are just like you? What about that smelly, “different” character lying about?
The two tables of Gods Law are clear: “If a man say, I love God, and hateth his brother, he is a liar…this commandment have we from him…that he who loveth God love his brother also.” Uh-oh!
The writer Dorothy Parker, with her usual acerbic wit once said: “if you want to know what God thinks of money, just look at the people He gave it to.” But that’s only half the equation. All have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God. Mammon is dangerous. After the forbidden fruit no one touches fallen creation without sin—without sinful omissions and commissions. The Lord is clear: “let not the rich man glory in his riches” and again “the love of money is the root of all evil.”[1Tim.6.10] The love of wealth means God is not loved.
So yes, OBEY the Ten Commandments perfectly! But you don’t; not any better than the “rich man” and not any better than Lazarus. This is not a parable about your obedience. This is not Christ motivating you to make the right choices. This is God’s word to you about being chosen! “Because through the weakness of our mortal nature we can do no good thing…grant us the help of Thy grace.”
Everything is hidden under the Cross. “Be merciful unto me, O God, for my soul trusteth in Thee, yea, in the shadow of Thy wings, will I make my refuge, until these calamities be overpast.” [Ps. 57.1] Thus did Lazarus trust, by faith, and thus he was carried home. You too, by Grace, have this faith in the outstretched arms, wings, of your Crucified Savior. He saves! The chasm is only breached by Christ THE Angel!
Love God. Love your neighbor. The “rich man,” Lazarus, and we don’t. Jesus does! The reason the man of wealth did not love Lazarus, which means help, not have “romantic feelings,” is that he did not love God. To love God is to “fear, love, and trust in God above all things.” Not loving God is to despise God’s Word. The man did not believe in Moses and the Prophets. The Hebrew Scriptures overflow with the Love of God in Christ Jesus…for God is love!
The “rich man” clothed himself in fine flaxen linen of purple. Jesus let Himself be covered in red and Divine purple blood at the hand of Romans. Jesus let Himself be clothed in a burial shroud by Nicodemus.
He dined sumptuously. Jesus hungered for Righteousness, your reconciliation, and “thirsted” on the Tree.
Lazarus was a beggar. The Reformer says we are all beggars simply trusting in God’s mercy. The “rich man” is not named for Christ did not “know” him but the street urchin is Lazarus, for like you, his name was written in the “Book of Life” which is Jesus own Body. Lazarus was full of sores, ulcerated wounds says Saint Luke the blessed physician. Christ allowed even more severe lacerations to be inflicted on His precious Flesh!
The “rich man” gorged on himself which is what unbelief does…turning the rejecting heart to cancerous cannibalism. Lazarus longed to be fed with even crumbs (like the Syro-Phoenician woman). The Lord Who fasted 40 days for all of you Lazaruses rescued the beggar. “How long wilt Thou forget me, O Lord? How long wilt Thou hide Thy face from me.” He doesn’t hide. We just can’t see him for the film on our eyes. “I Am The Lord which execute loving kindness in the earth; for in these things I delight.”
Jesus carried Lazarus to Abraham’s bosom by the angels. The cry of faith for mercy is your cry “Kyrie Elieson.” It is answered. Jesus even had had mercy on the “rich man” “you have Moses and the Prophets” but the man rejected Grace. Jesus Who Himself was heralded by the Angels at Nativity, ministered by the Angels in the desert, and strengthened by the Angels in Gethsemane, sends His New Testament angels to all beggars by His Ministers of Mercy. They are but hands and voices to deliver Him. The chasm is only breached by Christ THE Angel.
Our angels administer and steward Jesus’ means of Grace. The angel, Satan, betrayed God, but The Real Angel of The Trinity, The ANGEL OF THE LORD, Christ Jesus, redeemed the fall. Only Jesus fulfilled the Law with His sacrificial Love. Love on the Cross is the fulfillment of the Law.
There was a certain “rich man” but it wasn’t the man who ended up in hades. “Behold the man,” the God/Man on the Cross in all His riches and tender mercies. Hidden in His Body + and Baptized; hidden in His Blood and feasting on Life, you join Brother Lazarus in confessing “O Lord, I have trusted in Thy mercy.”
The chasm is breached by Christ THE Angel and you are carried home.
In The Name of The Father and of +The Son and of The Holy Ghost