Posted in CATECHESIS, LENT 2019, MORNING Prayers, PRACTISING CATHOLIC, QUOTES of the SAINTS, QUOTES on ALMS, QUOTES on CHARITY, The WORD

Lenten Reflection – 21 March- The rich man and Lazarus

Lenten Reflection – 21 March – Thursday of the Second week of Lent, Year C

“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…”
Luke 16:19–20Luke 16 19–20 rich man and lazarus turs2ndweeklent-21march2019.jpg

St Peter Chrysologus (400-450)
Bishop of Ravenna, Doctor of the Church

Sermon 122, On the rich man and Lazarus

“Abraham was very rich,” Scripture tells us (Gn 13:2)… My brethren, Abraham wasn’t rich for himself but for the poor, rather than keeping hold of his fortune, he intended to share it…This man, who was himself a stranger, did not hesitate to do all he could so that the stranger might not feel himself to be a stranger.   Living in a tent, he was unable to let a passer-by remain without shelter.   Perpetual traveller, he unfailingly welcomed the travellers who came his way…  Far from taking his ease in God’s bounty, he knew himself called to spread it abroad, he used it to protect the oppressed, set prisoners free, even to snatch those about to die from their fate (Gn 14:14)…  Abraham did not sit but remained standing before the stranger he had received.   He was not his guest’s host but made himself his servant.   Forgetting that he was master in his own home, he himself brought the food and, concerned that it should be carefully prepared, called on his wife.   Where he himself was concerned he relied entirely on his servants, but for the stranger he had received he thought it barely enough to entrust it to his wife’s skill.
What more could I say, my brothers?   It was so perfect a consideration… that drew God himself to Abraham’s home and compelled him to become his guest.   Thus the very one who would later claim to be welcomed in the person of the poor and the stranger, came to Abraham, rest for the poor, refuge of strangers.   “I was hungry,” he said, “and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, a stranger and you welcomed me” (Mt 25:35).
And again, we read in the Gospel:  “When the poor man died, he was carried away by angels to the bosom of Abraham.”   Isn’t it only right, brethren, that Abraham should welcome all the saints even into his own rest and should exercise, even in the blessedness of heaven, his service of hospitality?…  Doubtless, he could not have considered himself wholly happy unless, even in glory, he was able to continue to practice his ministry of sharing.”

Daily Meditation:
Bring us back to you.

The story of the Rich Man and Lazarus is our lesson today.
We beg to be open to the workings of the Spirit,
that we might not settle for the consolations of this life alone.

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.
Psalm 1:1-2

LOVE OF OUR NEIGHBOUR

St John Vianney (1786-1859)

“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.
No, my dear brethren, there is no virtue which will let us know better whether we are the children or God than charity.
The obligation we have to love our neighbour is so important, that Jesus Christ put it into a Commandment, which He placed immediately after that by which He commands us to love Him with all our hearts.   He tells us that all the law and the prophets are included in this commandment to love our neighbour.   Yes, my dear brethren, we must regard this obligation as the most universal, the most necessary and the most essential to religion and to our salvation.   In fulfilling this Commandment, we are fulfilling all others.   St Paul tells us that the other Commandments forbid us to commit adultery, robbery, injuries, false testimonies.   If we love our neighbour, we shall not do any of these things because the love we have for our neighbour would not allow us to do him any harm.”

all of our religion is but a false - st john vianney thurs2ndweeklent 21 march 2019.jpg

Closing Prayer:
Loving God,
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 if You are with me, how can I not love my neighbour?

May the Lord bless us,
protect us from all evil
and bring us to everlasting life.
Amen

Posted in LENT 2019, MORNING Prayers, Papa FRANCIS, QUOTES on ALMS, QUOTES on CHARITY, The WORD

One Minute Reflection – 21 March –  To ignore a poor man is to scorn God!

One Minute Reflection – 21 March – Thursday of the Second week of Lent, Year C

“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…”… Luke 16:19–20

REFLECTION – “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.  to ignore a poor man is to scorn god - pope francis 21 march 2019 thurs2ndweeklent

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 2016luke 16 19-20 there was a rich man - there is a detail - pope francis - 21 march 2019 thurs2ndweeklent

PRAYER – Lord God, You love innocence of heart and when it is lost, You alone can restore it.   In Your bounty, You give us all that is good, You give us Your Spirit who teaches us to think and do what is right.   Turn then our hearts to You and to our neighbour, especially those who are in need, so that we, may be unwearied in good works.   Always helped by the Blessed Virgin, Mother of Charity, we strive to make our lenten journey, one of total self-giving.   Through Christ our Lord in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God forever, amen.mary mother of charity pray for us 21 march 2019.jpg