Lazarus…and the rich man

Lazarus…and the rich man


Can you think about a relative or family friend who has died? Do you remember the good things that person did, or the happy times you had together? Maybe you’ve heard stories about him or her that make you happy. Usually we remember the nice things about somebody, don’t we?

In today’s Gospel reading, we hear a story that Jesus told. It’s the story of the rich man and poor Lazarus. The rich man lived with lots of good stuff—good food, lots of people around him, a great big place to live. Lazarus didn’t have anything. He begged for food, but nobody would help him (even the rich man, who saw him all the time). With this story, Jesus wanted to show us how we should try to live our lives.

One of our great saints, Saint John Chrysostom, writes about this Bible story. He reminds us that we know the poor man’s name (Lazarus), but we don’t ever hear the rich man’s name! He didn’t help anybody. He didn’t care enough to help anybody. We remember good things about people, but the rich man didn’t do anything good, so we don’t even hear his name in the story!

At church, we pray for people who have died. We say “May his memory be eternal!” In other words, may God remember him forever in heaven! Let’s try not to be like the selfish “rich man” in the story today. We want God to remember us forever in heaven!


Did you know God has some special helpers? They’re called angels! The word “angel” means messenger, because God sends them to give messages to us on earth!

Lots of people say they believe in angels—even people who don’t believe in God. But we’ve all seen pictures of cute little angels flying around with little wings, playing the trumpet or harp. Let’s find out what angels really are!

God has lots of different kinds of angels. They serve God. They follow Him and do things for Him. They don’t have bodies like we do, and they are invisible. The different angels all have different jobs. Some try to help us to have more love for God. Some try to help us learn more about God. Some try to help us be better people—to remember God’s rules and to do them.

Archangels tell good news. Remember Gabriel, who told Mary she was going to have a baby? He is an archangel. In the liturgy, if you listen closely, you will hear about some other angels, the cherubim and seraphim. They bring us wisdom and love. Each one of us also has a guardian angel who protects us. You can pray to your guardian angel! Ask him to watch over you at school, at home, when you’re playing and even sleeping! Ask your parents to find the “Prayer to Your Guardian Angel” for you—in a prayer book or on the internet.

We celebrate the feastday of the angels on November 8th (Nov. 21st, OC).

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Photo credit: Ancient Faith


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About author

Presvytera Alexandra Houck

Presvytera Alexandra Houck created The Children's Word bulletin so children will know they are not only welcome in church, but even more, an essential part of the Church family. She hopes the weekly bulletin will be just one more way we can make kids feel at home in church. Presvytera Alexandra is a graduate of Duke University and Holy Cross Greek Orthodox School of Theology. Her husband, Fr. Jason Houck, is a priest at St. Mary's Greek Orthodox Church in Minneapolis, MN. Presvytera Alexandra and Fr. Jason have three small children: Lydia, Paul, and Silas. Presvytera Alexandra grew up attending Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Church in Asheville, North Carolina with her nine siblings.