Luke’s Gospel 16: 23 tells us that hell exists. “ The rich man also died and was buried, and from the netherworld where he was in torment, he raised his eyes and saw Abraham far off and Lazarus at his side.” Matthew 25:46 says; “ And these will go off to eternal punishment, but the righteous to eternal life.” The Catechism of the Catholic Church affirms the existence of hell and its eternity.” ( 1035.)

We all have fear of hell, who doesn’t? But who goes there? The Gospel of St. Luke on this 26th Sunday in Ordinary Time Year C, tells us about the Rich Man, ( Dives in Latin), and Lazarus, the poor man.  Their life on earth was completely reversed at the afterlife where the Rich Man went to hell (the netherworld) and Lazarus to heaven. What wrong did the rich man do to suffer eternal punishment? Based on the gospel presentation, the rich man did not physically beat Lazarus who was in abject poverty and hunger right at the door of his house nor did he kick him out or yell at him, so what was his fault?

His case was a grave sin of omission, his cold and unpathetic attitude towards Lazarus that brought him to hell when he had all the means at arms way to alleviate him from his deplorable situation. He did nothing about the pitiful plight  of his poor neighbor.

This gives us an idea that it’s not only the evil things like, rape, pushing drugs, murder, stealing and other heinous crimes that lead perpetrators hell bound, but also the good we have, but we fail to share and help the poor from their suffering when we have all the opportunities to do so.

If hell is the final destination for those who do evil in their lives unrepentant and refusing to acknowledge God’s mercy and forgiveness, heaven is the opposite destiny for those who love and serve God and neighbor with all their heart.

Someone said, that it takes grace to be kind in cruel situations. You can’t change someone who doesn’t see an issue with their actions. You can only change how you react to them. You can change people by your example not by your opinion. To avoid certain people to protect your emotional health is not a weakness, it’s a wisdom. You will never reach your destination if you throw stones at every dog that barks. Remember that most of your stress come from the way you respond, not the way life is. Adjust your attitude, and all that extra stress is gone. If you have to choose between being right and being kind, choose being kind and you’ll always be right. What we really need to realize is how little we really need. Tears are words that the heart can’t say. Talking about our problems is our greatest addiction. Break the habit and talk about your joys. A person’s actions will tell you everything you need to know. Don’t ruin a good day by thinking about a bad yesterday. Let it go. Anger is the most useless and destructive emotion. Amen on that folks!!

St. Faustina wrote Jesus’ words; “ I find pleasure not in large buildings, but in the pure and humble heart.”( Diary 532).

Pray the Divine Mercy prayer every 3 p.m. Daily pray the Chaplet and the Holy Rosary for peace in our families and in the world.