The parable today ends with the rich man begging Abraham to send someone back from the dead to his five brothers. Abraham said, “They have Moses and the prophets; let them hear them.’ And he said, ‘No, father Abraham; but if someone goes to them from the dead, they will repent.’ He said to them, ‘If they do not hear Moses and the prophets, neither will they be convinced if someone should rise from the dead.’”
We are told 7 times in the Divine Liturgy of Saint John Chrysostom to “attend.” Being attentive is the constant call of our Lord Jesus Christ. “He who has ears to hear let him hear!” It is the right time to open our ears.It is the right timeto listen.
I grew up in the church but somehow I missed hearing about the love of God for me in Christ Jesus our Lord.
It was at a Young Life camp that I heard that Christ loves us and died for us. And that His death reconnects us to the Father in order to restore and resurrect our relationship with God the Father. I wondered to myself on that July evening in 1983 why I had never heard this before. Why had I not heard about Jesus’ saving act of love. That He came not as a judge or to condemn but to save. Well, when I returned from camp, I went to church the next Sunday with open eyes and ears and guess what? He was everywhere present. This good news was there and I had not heard it!
In the Anaphora prayers in the Liturgy of Saint Basil we hear: “Yet thou didst not turn away forever from thy creature whom thou hast made, O Good One; neither didst thou forget the work of thy hands; but thou didst visit him in diverse manners, through the tender compassion of thy mercy. Thou didst send forth the Prophets, who foretold unto us the salvation, which was to come; thou didst give us the Law to aid us; thou didst appoint Guardian Angels. And when the fullness of time was come; thou didst speak to us through thy Son himself, by whom thou also made the ages; who, being the Brightness of thy glory, and the Express Image of thy Person, and upholding all things by the word of his power, thought it not robbery to be equal to thee, the God and Father. But being God pre-eternal did he yet shew himself upon earth, and conversed with men: and being incarnate of the holy Virgin he emptied himself and took upon himself the form of a servant, being made in the likeness of our vile body that he might fashion us like unto the image of his glory: For inasmuch as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin, so it seemed good unto thine only-begotten Son, which is in the bosom of thee, O God and Father, made of woman, the holy Mother of God and ever-Virgin Mary, made under the law, to condemn sin in his flesh, that they who die in Adam may be quickened in thy Christ himself: Who dwelling in this world gave saving commandments and having turned us from the deceits of idols, hath brought us unto knowledge of thee, the true God and Father, having possessed us unto himself for a peculiar people, a royal priesthood, an holy nation: Who hath cleansed us with water and sanctified us by the Holy Spirit, giving himself a ransom unto death, wherein we were held, sold under sin: and by the cross having descended into hell, that he might fill all things with himself, he loosed the pains of death: and being risen again the third day he made a way for all flesh unto the resurrection of the dead, because it was not possible that the author of life should be holden of corruption. So is he become the first-fruits of them that slept, the firstborn from the dead: that in all things he might have the pre-eminence. And ascending into heaven he sat down on the right hand of thy Majesty on high, from whence he shall come again to render to every man according to his deeds. Who also hath left unto us for a remembrance of his saving passion these things which we here set forth according to his commandments. Who being about to go forth to his voluntary and ever-memorable and life-giving death, in the night that he gave himself for the life of the world, took bread in his sacred and most pure hands and showing it unto thee, O God and Father, when he had given thanks, and blessed and hallowed it, he brake it. And gave it to his holy disciples and apostles, saying, [and the rest of the Anaphora follows.]
He has done everything for us to know Him and His love for us. “If today you hear His voice do not harden your hearts.”