Lenten Reflection –12 March – Thursday of the Second week of Lent, Readings: Jeremiah 17:5-10, Psalm 1:1-4, 6, Luke 16:19-31
“Lord, open my lips, and my mouth shall declare your praise.”
“There was a rich man, who was clothed in purple
and fine linen and who feasted sumptuously every day.
And at his gate lay a poor man named Lazarus…”
“Lazarus is a good example of the silent cry of the poor throughout the ages and the contradictions of a world in which immense wealth and resources are in the the hands of the few. To ignore a poor man is to scorn God! We must learn this well – to ignore the poor is to scorn God.
There is a detail in the parable that is worth noting – the rich man has no name but only an adjective – ‘the rich man’, while the name of the poor man is repeated five times and ‘Lazarus’ means ‘God helps’. Lazarus, who is lying at the gate, is a living reminder to the rich man to remember God but the rich man does not receive that reminder. Hence, he will be condemned not because of his wealth but for being incapable of feeling compassion for Lazarus and for not coming to his aid.
God’s mercy toward us is linked to our mercy toward our neighbour, when this is lacking, also that of not finding room in our closed heart, He cannot enter. If I do not thrust open the door of my heart to the poor, that door remains closed. Even to God. This is terrible.”….Pope Francis – General Audience, 18 May 2016
Blessed is the man
who walks not in the counsel of the wicked,
nor stands in the way of sinners,
nor sits in the seat of scoffers
but his delight is in the law of the Lord
and on his law he meditates day and night.
God has revealed Himself in Christ.
Let us praise His goodness
and ask Him from our hearts:
Remember us, Lord, for we are your children.
Teach us to enter more deeply into the mystery of the Church,
– that it may be more effective for ourselves and for the world as the sacrament of salvation.
Lover of mankind, inspire us to work for human progress,
– seeking to spread Your kingdom in all we do.
May our hearts thirst for Christ,
– the fountain of living water.
Forgive us our sins,
– and direct our steps into the ways of charity, justice and sincerity.
I hear Your invitation, “Come back to me”
and I am filled with such a longing to return to You.
Show me the way to return.
Lead me this day in good works I do in Your name
and send Your Spirit to guide me and strengthen my faith.
I ask only to feel Your love in my life today
and to spread it to all, especially those most in need.
May the Lord bless us,
protect us from all evil
and bring us to everlasting life.
“All of our religion is but a false religion and all our virtues are mere illusions and we ourselves are only hypocrites in the sight of God, if we have not that universal charity for everyone, for the good and for the bad, for the poor people as well as for the rich, for all those who do us harm as much as for those who do us good.”