St. Simeon Skete, Taylorsville Kentucky USA

With St. Simeon, the God receiver, as our patron, the skete seeks to practice the ideals found in our Rule, The Thousand Day Nazareth. In simplicity and poverty, the skete embraces the struggle of inner life through the practice of the Prayer Rope.

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Donations should be addressed to: Nazareth House Apostolate, 185 Captains Cove Drive, Taylorsville, Kentucky 40071.

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Friday, June 26, 2020

The Rich Man and Lazarus

"The rich man didn't notice Lazarus.  He didn't see Lazarus.

There's a certain way the Gospel is heard when a person's stomach is empty and when a person's stomach is satisfied.

(Mt. 11:5- 5 The blind receive sight, the lame walk, those who have leprosy are cleansed, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, and the good news is proclaimed to the poor.)  The Gospel is first preached to those who are NOT full.

When you are empty, abandoned, uncared for, and feel like there is no way out - not just for the next five minutes but for your life...  What happens to the human spirit when that is the situation?

How do you relate to life? How do you continue to believe? How do you continue to have hope?  How do you continue to care?  Can faith still be quick and glib?

There are two kinds of Lazarus:
1. The Lazarus that identifies with the individual
2. The Lazarus that confronts

People ask the question, "if God is good and caring how come all this bad is happening?"

But the answers can't be too quick, they'll pass away as fast as they came!  Why? Because they've never been thirsted for, or any space made inside for,  or agonized for.  So often when the answer comes, its an excuse to stop asking, thirsting, or longing.  If your answers are still working, then you're not growing.

What Jesus, The Cross reveals is that God is not separate from humanity, history, suffering, pain, loss or loneliness.  God is He who is participating with us, in us and as us!  That's the only hope many have in this world.

We must face life and death.  Everything is dying, shedding its strength, breaking down, wearing out.  That's hard for us to accept and all our life we've been looking for the opposite; something that is not dying, shedding strength, breaking down or wearing out.

For years we've been telling God to get out of our schools, our government, Christmas, marriages, etc.  How can we expect anything from God when we demand He leave us alone?

It is better to love God and die unknown than to love the world and be a big shot!

When I leave my books, answers, security and certitudes behind and I open the door (Rev. 3:20 - Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and eat with him, and he with me) it means putting my life on the line.  When I go through the door, will I see the Lazarus who is Jesus? the Lazarus who is ignored? the Lazarus who is discounted, hunted, shot?

Or ..when I go through the door will I continue to see my own definitions of truth, reality, certitudes and discounting that in reality keeps me from seeing any definitions, truth, reality or certitudes."   
Seraphim's+, journal

The Rich Man and Lazarus (Luke 16 19-31)

19 “There was a rich man who was clothed in purple and fine linen and who feasted sumptuously every day. 20 And at his gate was laid a poor man named Lazarus, covered with sores, 21 who desired to be fed with what fell from the rich man's table. Moreover, even the dogs came and licked his sores. 22 The poor man died and was carried by the angels to Abraham's side.[a] The rich man also died and was buried, 23 and in Hades, being in torment, he lifted up his eyes and saw Abraham far off and Lazarus at his side. 24 And he called out, ‘Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus to dip the end of his finger in water and cool my tongue, for I am in anguish in this flame.’ 25 But Abraham said, ‘Child, remember that you in your lifetime received your good things, and Lazarus in like manner bad things; but now he is comforted here, and you are in anguish. 26 And besides all this, between us and you a great chasm has been fixed, in order that those who would pass from here to you may not be able, and none may cross from there to us.’ 27 And he said, ‘Then I beg you, father, to send him to my father's house— 28 for I have five brothers—so that he may warn them, lest they also come into this place of torment.’ 29 But Abraham said, ‘They have Moses and the Prophets; let them hear them.’ 30 And he said, ‘No, father Abraham, but if someone goes to them from the dead, they will repent.’ 31 He said to him, ‘If they do not hear Moses and the Prophets, neither will they be convinced if someone should rise from the dead.’”