Jesus tells a story about two dead men: one affluent, the other abeggar. After living a life of luxury, the rich man finds himself sufferingin acute pain; he asks Abraham to send Lazarus (the poorbeggar) to get him a drink. Even in the afterlife, the rich manthinks that Lazarus should be waiting on him!Abraham points out the barrier that prevented Lazarus fromdoing the rich man’s bidding in the afterlife. Of course, no suchbarrier exists among the living. The justice of Lazarus’s reward inthe afterlife also points to the fact that it is no one’s lot to be a beggarin this life; the surplus of some, as Pope John Paul II has oftenpreached, belongs to those in need. While he was alive, the richman had it within his means to relieve the suffering of Lazarus, buthe did nothing. In the mind of the rich man, Lazarus was exactlywhat God wanted him to be—a beggar. In the next life, the tableswere turned: Lazarus was rewarded, and the rich man suffered.It is a simple message, one that we have heard many times.It also has a touch of irony: In the story, the rich man begs Abrahamto send Lazarus back from the dead to warn the rich man’sbrothers. Abraham predicts that they still wouldn’t believe.Notice the reaction of the crowd when Jesus raises Lazarus fromthe dead: “So the chief priests planned to put Lazarus also todeath, because on account of him many of the Jews were goingaway and believing in Jesus,” (John 12:10–11).Jesus sent his disciples out to heal, to liberate, and to inviteothers into the kingdom of God. As a follower of Christ, whatam I doing for those Jesus sends to me?