The Lord’s Day
(Week 26 Ordinary Time)

“... and from the netherworld, where he was in torment, he raised his eyes and saw Abraham far off and Lazarus at his side. ” (Luke 16:23.)

Saint Gregory of Nyssa (part 2 of the background of Saint Gregory of Nyssa is found here) offers the following insight on this verse from today’s Gospel:

“I said, “What are the fire, the gulf, or the other things which are mentioned, if they are not what they are said to be?”

“It seems to me,” she [Macrina] said, “that the Gospel wishes, through each of these details, to indicate some opinions concerning what we are seeking in connection with the soul. The patriarch says to the rich man, ‘You had your share of goods during your life in the flesh.’ He also says concerning the beggar, ‘This man fulfilled his duty by his experience of hardship during his life.’ By the gulf separating the one from the other, Scripture seems to me to set forth an important belief. This, in my opinion, is the gulf, which is not an earthly abyss, that the judgment between the two opposite choices of life creates. Once one has chosen the pleasure of this life and has not remedied this bad choice by a change of heart, he produces for himself a place empty of good hereafter. He digs this unavoidable necessity for himself like some deep and trackless pit.

“It seems to me that Scripture uses the ‘bosom of Abraham,’ in which the patient sufferer finds rest, as a symbol of the good state of the soul. This patriarch was the first person recorded to have chosen the hope of things to come in preference to the enjoyment of the moment. Deprived of everything he had in the beginning of his life, living among strangers, he searched for a future prosperity through present affliction. We use the word bosom when referring figuratively to a part of the outline of the sea. It seems to me that Scripture uses the word bosom as a symbol of the immeasurable goals toward which those who sail virtuously through life will come to when having departed from life. They anchor their souls in this good bosom as in a quiet harbor.”” (On the Soul and the Resurrection)

O God,
Who manifest Your almighty power
above all by pardoning and showing mercy,
bestow, we pray,
Your grace abundantly upon us
and make those
hastening to attain Your promises
heirs to the treasures of heaven.
Through our Lord Jesus Christ, Your Son,
Who lives and reigns with You
in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God,
for ever and ever.

Glory to the Father
and to the Son
and to the Holy Spirit:
as it was in the beginning,
is now, and will be forever. Amen