Reconciliation On Wealth and Poverty: Repentance Fit for a King

Desert Fathers Dispatch

Do you wish to see what makes a bed truly beautiful? … I am showing you the bed of David. Not one adorned all over with silver and gold, but with tears and confessions.   St. John Chrysostom, First Sermon on Lazarus and the Rich Man

As we are at the beginning of Great Lent, it is fair to bring up this point of Chrysostom’s chastisement of luxurious living. Here, the “golden mouthed” preacher makes reference to the Prophet Amos’s denunciation of those who “sleep on beds of ivory and live delicately on couches” (1).  In the parable, it is not hard to imagine the rich man doing this.  Dining sumptuously every day and dressed in purple, of course he would also have furnishings more of status and wealth than of function.  Poor Lazarus couldn’t even get a crumb from a table made of expensive materials.  While dogs licked his sores…

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