Landing on the wrong side of the great chasm for all eternity is as close as dying in a state of mortal sin. Jesus’ parable of Lazarus and the Rich Man teaches this important truth: every person faces at the end of his earthly life the possibility of an eternal, unchangeable destiny. Salvation or damnation. One is good. The other terrifyingly bad.
Padre Pio of Pietrelcina was a humble stigmatist whose trust in God, despite much suffering and opposition, allowed him to follow his own advice: “Pray, hope and do not worry”.
The Parable of the Dishonest Steward in Luke’s gospel can be a little confusing. What is Jesus saying here? Is he commending dishonesty?
The parable of Lazarus and the Rich Man reminds us that hell is a real danger. If we reject helping those in need, we might find ourselves permanently residing in the netherworld, pleading for a drop of water to cool our tongue.
Today we celebrate in the Church the Feast of the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary. The life of the Church throughout history bears the mark of devotion to Theotokos, the Mother of God, whose fiat—her “yes” to the salvific plan of God the Father—brought the Savior and Redeemer of humankind into the world.
We profess in the Nicene Creed of the Church each Sunday: “I look forward to the resurrection of the dead and the life of the world to come. Amen.” “But are we,” wrote then Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger, “really expecting this resurrection? And eternal life?”
The Mystical Vine, the Catholic Church is animated by a novel vital principle, which is its Soul, the Holy Spirit, who is the Grace that animates all the members of the Body of Christ.
Who do you say that I am? asks Jesus. It’s the question above all others. The way we answer this question will echo into eternity. It’s a question of life and death. It’s a question about everything.