Even the Dogs

Luke 16:19-31:

Jesus said to the Pharisees: “There was a rich man who dressed in purple garments and fine linen and dined sumptuously each day. And lying at his door was a poor man named Lazarus, covered with sores, who would gladly have eaten his fill of the scraps that fell from the rich man’s table. Dogs even used to come and lick his sores. When the poor man died, he was carried away by angels to the bosom of Abraham. The rich man also died and was buried, and from the netherworld, where he was in torment, he raised his eyes and saw Abraham far off and Lazarus at his side. And he cried out, ‘Father Abraham, have pity on me. Send Lazarus to dip the tip of his finger in water and cool my tongue, for I am suffering torment in these flames.’ Abraham replied, ‘My child, remember that you received what was good during your lifetime while Lazarus likewise received what was bad; but now he is comforted here, whereas you are  tormented. Moreover, between us and you a great chasm is established to prevent anyone from crossing who might wish to go from our side to yours or from your side to ours.’ He said, ‘Then I beg you, father, send him to my father’s house, for I have five brothers, so that he may warn them, lest they too come to this place of torment.’ But Abraham replied, ‘They have Moses and the prophets. Let them listen to them.’ He said, ‘Oh no, father Abraham, but if someone from the dead goes to them, they will repent.’ Then Abraham said, ‘If they will not listen to Moses  and the prophets, neither will they be persuaded if someone should rise from the dead.'”


Do we ever feel like “a dog”?  Like our sins are so great that we don’t deserve a seat at the Wedding Feast of the Lamb, the Eternal Supper, in Heaven?  As if there was just no way possible that we could possibly be invited to the Biggest Wedding in all of Eternity?  It’s sobering to realize that no matter how hard we try to not sin, sin is inherent in all of us in the flesh in this fallen world.  There’s no getting around that fact.  When we look at the Gospel Parable of Lazarus and the rich man (with dogs licking Lazarus’ sores before he died), it’s important to remember another Parable from the Gospels – but, this one wasn’t told by Jesus (but it sure got His attention).  In Matthew 15:27, a Canaanite woman begged for Jesus’ Healing when she told Jesus that even the dogs “eat of the crumbs that fall from the table of their masters.”  Only Jesus can truly-Heal us in our fallen states and He’s more than willing to Heal all of us – including the beggars, sinners, dogs, etc. in this world.  He only asks that we accept Him and repent of our sinful ways and follow Him – loving God will all of our minds, bodies, and Souls and loving others as we love God.  So, anytime that we’re “feeling like dogs”, we simply need to turn to Jesus.  For Jesus also said in the Gospels, “there shall be joy in Heaven upon one sinner that doth penance, more than upon ninety-nine just who need not penance.”

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