"If they do not listen to Moses and the prophets, they will not be convinced even if one should rise from the dead." —Luke 16:31
The rich man in today's Gospel died and was so "hard up" that he asked to lick the tip of Lazarus' finger after it had been dipped in water (Lk 16:24). This rich man suffered extreme deprivation in a "place of torment" (Lk 16:28).
The rich man knew that his five brothers were on the way to the same place of deprivation and torment. He knew that they were so spiritually blind and hardened that it would take a man risen from the dead to open their eyes. Abraham disagreed and said that the five brothers were even more hardened than the rich man thought. Abraham said: "They will not be convinced even if one should rise from the dead" (Lk 16:31).
The only hope Abraham held out to the harder than hard, who are on the way to being very, very "hard up," is that they listen to Moses and the prophets (Lk 16:29). The first five books of the Bible are attributed to Moses, and the prophets make up a large section of the Bible. So Abraham was saying that, if we don't listen to the Bible, we will stay blind, get harder, and be on our way to very hard times. We either listen to the Bible or become hard-hearted and "hard up" in hell forever. Listen to Jesus and His word.
Prayer: Father, as Jesus did on the first Easter Sunday for His disciples and apostles, open my mind to the understanding of Moses and the prophets (Lk 24:45, 27).
Promise: "The Lord raises up those that were bowed down." —Ps 146:8
Praise: "He is the blessed and only Ruler, the King of kings and Lord of lords Who alone has immortality and Who dwells in unapproachable light, Whom no human being has ever seen or can see. To Him be honor and everlasting rule! Amen" (1 Tm 6:15-16).
Reference: (Consider ordering our Simple Reading Guides to the entire Bible or our Bible Reading plans to help you read the Scriptures.)
Nihil Obstat: Reverend Robert J. Buschmiller, February 17, 1998
Imprimatur: †Most Reverend Carl K. Moeddel, Vicar General and Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, March 25, 1998