Luke 16: 19‑31
The Rich Man and Lazarus
St. Gaspar"In the same way does the Lord act when he wishes to demonstrate his mercy, and he will do so also for us, Oh souls redeemed at the price of the living Blood; so do not be doubtful. Are difficulties encountered while in service to God? Then God will open a way through that sea; he will take away those obstacles. Keep going ahead, you will have no impediments. You have behind you all the demons of hell pursuing you, very vehement temptations that threaten you with destruction. But, 'Do not be afraid.’ God will arrest their fury and will lead you to a place of rest. In your defense, your holy advocates watch over you; your guardian angel is there to assist you; Mary most Holy spreads her mantle of protection over you; Jesus crucified extends his arms to you. He waits to welcome you in the sacrament of Penance; he comes to meet you, nourish you and strengthen you in the sacrament of the Eucharist. Already he holds out to you the indestructible crown of glory that will make you eternally happy. What more could you wish for? In your difficulties, so de Sales asserts, repeat frequently to yourself that this is the road that leads to heaven. I see the port and I am certain that the storms will not be able to stop me from reaching it. The greater your misery, so much greater will be the triumph of divine goodness."
Jeremiah is very clear. If we trust in what we can see, it will fail us, disappoint us, and even curse us, because we trusted in something useless. And blessed is the one who trusts God! Blessed is the one who trusts in him who lasts forever, who will never fail or disappoint. But Jeremiah continues, the human heart is fickle and foolish, even perverse in it’s longing for what fails to satisfy. Jesus continues the teaching. Riches are not a sign of God's blessing. They are a sign of our greater responsibility, especially to the poor. St. Gaspar concludes that we do not come to Jesus, or to religious life, for our own desires or opinion, but to nourish the real life of the soul and seek the Glory of God. His passage above written from prison, is a great comfort to the fickle and perverse human heart that struggles with attachments to temporal things. God will open a way through that choppy sea and provide the protection needed if one but hopes in the Lord.
- On what do I have my heart set?
- What have I done for Lazarus this week?
- Describe your "road that leads to heaven."
- Look back to Thursday after Ash Wednesday and reflect
 from letter 62 to Countess Lucrezia Ginnasi, April 29, 1813, Resources - 4, pg. 18‑19