Neglect not your salvation

Friends in Christ,
Today we hear about the rich man who ends up burning in hell. He seems surprised to be there.  

Despite the great importance of where we will end up, there are many who give not a second’s thought about the next life. There are those who are very talented, and who carefully plan their future,  but when it comes to their eternal future, they are quite foolish.  In the example Jesus gives in the scriptures,  the rich man did not commit crimes that we would say are horrible.  He did not murder or rob a bank.  This man lived a quiet life, he had friends; he was respected in society.  It is true that he neglected poor Lazarus,  but he did not curse him, or kick him.  What then was his sin?  The rich man thought nothing of God nor of his neighbor. He only thought of pleasure, of feasting – of himself.   

You know, some people argue with God,  they may even yell at him: ‘Lord, why did this happen to me?!’ Many wrestle in their relationship with God,  but there is a desire to know his will and love him.  On the other hand, there are others who actually ignore God.  Not a single prayer, no calls for assistance.  No gratitude for blessings, or for his creation.  Ignoring the poor and those who need them.  Such persons live as if they were atheists.  

When Jesus was knocking at the rich man’s door, he did not recognize him.  ‘If you neglected the least of my brethren, says the Lord, you neglected me’. St. Paul says, ‘How shall we escape judgment, if we NEGLECT so great a salvation; (Heb 2:3)  Today this is
common – neglecting our salvation –  because we don’t care. We care only about pleasure in this life.   All one has to do to end in hell, is ignore God.  

We know from our own experience, that it is one thing to be shouted at, or chastised, or your motives questioned; but if you really want to feel a person’s hatred, it is when they ignore you.  To be ignored, to be treated as if you do not exist – Can we do this to the Lord who created us? God forbid!  

‘How shall we escape judgment, if we neglect so great a salvation,’ says St. Paul.  Far from neglecting, let us in these days of Lent, love the Lord with all our heart and mind and soul, and our neighbor as ourself.  

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