This parable from the Gospel of Luke invites us to reflection. On the surface, the Gospel may seem to condemn the wealthy but, as Pope Benedict XVI states in his book Jesus of Nazareth, “This has nothing to do with a cheap condemnation of riches and of the rich begotten of envy.” Jesus is teaching us something much more profound here, calling each and every person to action, not just the wealthy. Jesus is inviting us to a sort of “awakening,” that which the rich man attains here only after he dies, while Lazarus attained it during life.

“The Lord wants to lead us from foolish cleverness toward true wisdom; he wants to teach us to discern the real good,” as Pope Benedict XVI continues to say. This call to discernment is for each one of us. We are called by Christ to come to know Jesus himself and to both hear and answer the call of Christ in our life. We are also called to love and be Christ for one another. Let us pray for the grace to understand the workings of the Spirit in our lives and answer that call to holiness.

“Do not be afraid to be holy!”

—Blessed John Paul II

—Jack Lupica is a senior at Saint Ignatius High School, Cleveland, OH.