The parable that challenged Dr. Albert Schweitzer is the parable of the rich man and Lazarus. This story Jesus told, made a man with three doctoral degrees (one in medicine, one in theology, one in philosophy), leave civilization with all its culture and amenities and depart for the jungles of darkest Africa to serve as a missionary doctor for 47 years.

It was this parable which induced a man, who was recognized as one of the best soloists and concert organists in all Europe, to go to a place where there were no organs to play!

It was this powerful parable which so intensely motivated a man that he gave up a teaching position as university professor in Vienna, Austria to go to help people who were so deprived that they were still living in the superstitions of the dark ages, for all practical purposes.

At the age of 38, he became a full-fledged medical doctor with specialization in tropical medicine. At the age of 43, he left for Africa where he opened a hospital on the edge of the jungle in what was then called Equatorial Africa. He died there in 1965 at the age of 90.

The man, of course, was Dr. Albert Schweitzer who won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1952. The single parable that so radically altered his life, according to him, was our text for this morning, the parable of the rich man and Lazarus, the beggar. That parable convinced Schweitzer that the rich, Europe, should share its riches with the poor, Africa, and that he should start the process.

Submitted by Fr. Joseph Dovari