‘There was a rich man who was dressed in purple and fine linen and who feasted sumptuously every day.
And at his gate lay a poor man named Lazarus, covered with sores, who longed to satisfy his hunger with what fell from the rich man’s table; even the dogs would come and lick his sores.
The poor man died and was carried away by the angels to be with Abraham. The rich man also died and was buried. In Hades, where he was being tormented, he looked up and saw Abraham far away with Lazarus by his side. He called out, “Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus to dip the tip of his finger in water and cool my tongue; for I am in agony in these flames.” But Abraham said, “Child, remember that during your lifetime you received your good things, and Lazarus in like manner evil things; but now he is comforted here, and you are in agony. Besides all this, between you and us a great chasm has been fixed, so that those who might want to pass from here to you cannot do so, and no one can cross from there to us.”
He said, “Then, father, I beg you to send him to my father’s house— for I have five brothers—that he may warn them, so that they will not also come into this place of torment.” Abraham replied, “They have Moses and the prophets; they should listen to them.” He said, “No, father Abraham; but if someone goes to them from the dead, they will repent.” Abraham said to him, “If they do not listen to Moses and the prophets, neither will they be convinced even if someone rises from the dead.”’
Conversation: When you come towards the end of your time of prayer, talk to
Jesus about what has come up for you.
Imagine how he might reply.
A Prayer: End with a formal prayer, such as the Lord's Prayer/Our Father
Stealthily, we moved from the edges,
Drawn by dreams of plenitude,
Leaving our homes at the margins
Of the deserted flatlands,
Where nothing grows
And what we had of wheels and cogs
Rusts and harbours cobwebs.
It was fear that urged us on,
Hacking at our hearts,
Fear of a demented power,
That fed upon its own illusions,
And cut the navel string
Which bound us to our Tribal Story.
We were Stripped at gunpoint
At the precise point of intersection
Between what passed as the frontier of nations.
We carry nothing with us,
But the golden memories
Of a love that had once bound us together as a people,
The incense of a gifted race
Which had tilled a fruitful land for a thousand years,
And we carry, like a sacrament,
The myrrh of our Nation's woundedness,
In which is mixed the wisdom of our ancestors.
This is who we are.
These are our gifts as we stand before your walls,
And if this be not enough to gain entry to your land,
Let the sun come down upon our dry bones,
And the moon carve us a grave.
Patrick Purnell SJ
Jesus and homelessness