Today's Gospel (Luke 16: 19-31) really demands a response from us. Jesus, through use of a parable about a rich man and a poor man who both die, tries to get us to consider our lives. Since the rich man ignored the poor man on earth, the poor man is enjoying eternal happiness while the rich man eternal torment. When asked if the poor man can go to warn the rich man's brothers, Jesus makes a powerful statement: "They have Moses and the prophets. Let them listen to them." And when the rich man says that this is not enough, Jesus states that "If they will not listen to Moses and the prophets, neither will they be persuaded if someone should rise from the dead."
Wow, this is exactly what happened! Even today we still demand a "sign" and yet fail to listen to Moses, the Prophets and the One who rose from the dead. How do we change this? I would submit that the way to begin is by becoming more and more familiar with what Moses, the Prophets ad Jesus said and did. Lent is the perfect time to recommit ourselves to reading and meditating on Sacred Scripture. How can we be persuaded by those with whom we are not familiar? When was the last time we actually read about Moses, the Prophets, Jesus? If we do not, there is no chance that we will change. We will remain like the brothers of the rich man, content in our ignorance and doomed by our indifference.
Jesus so wants to help us, to persuade us, to lead us to eternal life. But God will not force us. We have the words and example of Moses, the Prophets and Jesus. Are you persuaded yet?