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."
Here we have in our midst the rich man with no name and the poor man called Lazarus. The rich man dressed in "purple garments and fine linen" while the poor seems to be dressed in nothing but his sores. Death is the fate of both of them, as it is for all of us, both rich and poor alike. God knows the name of Lazarus while the rich man found himself unknown and in torment. Jesus, speaking to the Pharisees, breaks down one of the biggest stereotypes of the Jews; the rich are blessed by God and the poor are cursed by Him. This is false. Lazarus may have received a difficult life on earth but he was still known, that is loved by God, and at the end found himself in the eternal embrace of his loving Father.
We cannot rest on our earthly success and material wealth. Contrary to what our culture tells us, these may not actually be signs of blessing from God. This Gospel opens our eyes to the reality around us. God does not care for these worldly accomplishments. God looks to our hearts. The fact is the rich man did not show love. We are capable and expected to bring the love of God to every person, in every situation that we are faced with.
Lent is a time to allow ourselves to be open to that love of God, while at the same time, to be emptied of all that distracts us from truly loving the people around us. We must see as Christ is teaching us to see. There are so many people who are "lying at our doorstep" who need nothing more than to be shown the love of God. How can we do this? How can we reach out to those in need of love? Today, take the time to notice every single person you encounter throughout your day. If you are able to give love in some way, take that extra step to do so. If not, smile and pray for each and every soul that they may come to know how truly loved they are by God the Father.