The Gospel during the second week of Lent (Luke 16:19-31) about Lazarus and the rich man will always remind me of a wise, loyal, holy, very prayerful and steadfast priest, Fr John Burns, whose voice we will never hear again. He went to God on 29 January 2013.
Of all the priests I have heard read and give a homily on that passage, none gave the logical explanation given by this priest who had served in a number of countries, including Pakistan, thereby gaining greater understandings from being in cultures very different from our own.
Every time the Gospel came up he would remind us that the story is an allegory. In spite of what other great minds have published, our priest simply said that if the rich man were in what we understand as Hell, he would not have been concerned for his brothers. There is no love or thought of charity from souls in Hell. In fact, the opposite, for souls in Hell are so full of hate that they want other souls to be condemned, too.
May this priest, who was strong enough against the prevailing thought to tell us what Hell is really like, have been welcomed into Paradise.
M.A. ROSS (MRS)