THE LORD TOLD THIS PARABLE, “There was a certain rich man who was dressed in purple and fine linen, feasting in luxury every day. And at his gate lay a certain poor man named Lazarus, covered with sores, who desired to be fed with the crumbs that 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 into Abraham’s bosom. The rich man also died and was buried. In hell, where he was being tormented, the rich man looked up and saw Abraham far away with Lazarus by his side. The rich man 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 replied, ‘Son, 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 anguish. 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.’ Then the rich man said, ‘I beg you, therefore, father, to send him to my father’s house, for I have five brothers, that he may testify to them, so that they will not also come into this place of torment.’ Abraham replied, ‘They have Moses and the prophets. Let them listen to them.’ The rich man 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 if someone rises from the dead.’”
Saint Peter Chrysologus comments on the reversal of fortunes of the two men in the parable,
"Send Lazarus." As I see the matter, the rich man's actions spring not from new pain but from ancient envy. This hell does not kindle his jealousy as much as Lazarus' possession of heaven. People find it a serious evil and unbearable fire to see in happiness those whom they once held in contempt. The rich man's ill will does not leave him, although he already endures its punishment. he does not ask to be led to Lazarus, but wants Lazarus to be led to him. O rich man, loving Abraham cannot send to the bed of your tortures Lazarus, whom you did not condescend to admit to your table. Your respective fortunes have now been reversed. You look at the glory of him whose misery you once spurned. He who wondered at you in your glory sees your tortures.
The Whole Counsel of God Bible study: