The Beatitudes are like a self-portrait of Christ. They look beyond the struggles of this life to eternal life to come. They proclaim that the blessings of the New Covenant will be fully realized in heaven.
In today’s gospel (John 1:29-34), John the Baptist sees Jesus walking toward him and proclaims: “Behold, the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world.” What does it mean to say that Jesus is the Lamb of God?
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.
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.