"It was the Lord Himself who was knocking at the door,
so that this man would open his heart and mercy would be able to enter.
But no, he did not see, he was simply closed:
for him, outside the door there was nothing.” - Today's homily.
He cancelled appointments for the day because he has a fever.
I wonder at his stamina - how he never stops, never takes a vacation - at his age! I wondered how he avoids getting sick, being in daily contact with so many? Today he has a fever and must rest - I pray he recovers quickly.
He still gave his homily this morning at S. Marta. He was very much in my thoughts as I prayed this morning, reflecting on the readings at Mass. I had hoped he would have had something to say on them, and I wasn't disappointed when I finally came online to check.
The beggar Lazarus, personifies for me the verse from Psalm 84, "I would rather lie abject on the threshold of the house of God than dwell in the tents of the wicked."
Pope Francis sees him as one on the peripheries ... Perhaps Lazarus represents those outside the wall the rich man builds to enclose or protect himself within, to pile up the riches and hoard the possessions he needs to make him feel 'great again'? Those are my thoughts, not the Pope's.
I think the Pope sees or speaks of the Rich Man from an ecclesial point of view, from within the context of the Church:
“But he was a closed man, closed in his own little world – the world of banquets, of clothes, of vanity, of friends – a closed man, truly in a bubble of vanity. He didn’t have the ability to see others, only his own world. And this man did not recognize the things that happened beyond his closed world. For example, he didn’t think of the needs of so many people, or of the necessity of accompanying of the sick; he though only of himself, of his wealth, of his good life: he was given to the good life.” - Pope Francis
The Rich Man had the appearance of being religious - I consider that in the context of the Law. Rituals of washing and cleansing, keeping away from the unclean - all the laws. The Pope says the Rich Man couldn't see a way to help the poor man, or those on the peripheries because of his being closed in on himself.
Carl Dobsky,The Lotus Eater
It makes me wonder.
The Pope often speaks about the exclusion of those on the peripheries by clergy, bishops and priests ... 'the teachers of the Law' - very much interested in advancing their careers. This consideration reminds me of Luke 11:46 - “Woe also to you scholars of the law! You impose on people burdens hard to carry, but you yourselves do not lift one finger to touch them." This is why I love the Holy Father so much, because he consistently goes out to lift those heavy burdens from those most in need, and he encourages us to do the same.
We are in Lent, the Pope noted, and it would do us good to ask ourselves what path we are travelling on:
“‘Am I on the road of life, or on the road of lies? How many ways is my heart still closed? Where is my joy: in doing, or in speaking? In going out of myself to meet others, to help them? The works of mercy, eh? Or is my joy in having everything organized, closed in on myself?’ Let us ask the Lord, while we’re thinking about it – no, throughout our life – for the grace of always seeing the Lazarus at our door, the Lazarus who knocks at our heart, and [the grace] to go out of ourselves with generosity, with the attitude of mercy, so that the mercy of God can enter into our hearts. - Pope Francis
The Holy Father always makes me want to be a better man.
How tortuous the human heart?