Friday, 6 March 2015

3rd Sunday in Lent

"Stay with us Lord on our Journey"


Masses this week:

Mon – No Mass                   Tues – 9.30am Mass

Wed – 12 noon Mass followed by packed lunch

Thurs – 18.30 Stations of the Cross followed by Mass (about 7pm)

Friday – 7.30am Mass followed by breakfast


Please remember in your prayers

Sick and housebound: Fr Oliver, Beth Tomlinson, Mary O'Connor, William Cornwell, Christopher McCready.

Lately Dead: Colette Riley, Eileen Commons, Ethel Torvill, Ethna Teresa O'Neill, Agnes Nesbitt

Anniversaries: Ken Le Pla, Mark Heaton, Richard Henry, Mary Nodwell, Philip Allen, Colin & Philip Wasdell, James Edward Myerscough, Mary & Harry Bone, Edwin Moulding, Fred Duckett, Mary Borwick, Kathleen Livesey

****************************************************************************************************************Being worldly means losing your name and having the eyes of your soul "tinted dark", anaesthetized, until you no longer see the people around you. This is the sin that Francis spoke about on Thursday, 5 March, during Mass at Santa Marta.

"Today's Lenten Liturgy offers us two stories, two judgements and three names", Francis began. The two stories are those of the parable, narrated by Luke (16:19-31), of the rich man and of the poor man named Lazarus. In particular, the Pope stated, the first story is "that of the rich man, who was clothed in purple and the finest linen", who "took good care of himself", and "feasted sumptuously every day". The text, Francis indicated, "doesn't say he was bad", but rather that he had "a comfortable life, he gave himself a good life". In fact, "the Gospel doesn't say that he overindulged"; instead his was "a quiet life, with friends". Who knows, perhaps "if he had parents, he surely sent them things so they would have the necessities of life". And maybe "he was a religious man, in his way. Perhaps he recited a few prayers; and surely two or three times a year he went to temple to make sacrifices and gave large offerings to the priests". And "they, with their clerical cowardliness, thanked him and made him sit in the place of honour". This was the social lifestyle of the rich man presented by Luke.

Then there is "the second story, that of Lazarus", the poor mendicant who lay at the rich man's gate. How is it possible that this man didn't realize that Lazarus was there, below his house, poor and starving? The wounds that the Gospel speaks of, the Pope said, are "a symbol of the many needs he had". However, "when the rich man left the house, perhaps the car he left in had windows tinted dark so he couldn't see out". But "surely his soul, the eyes of his soul were tinted dark so he couldn't see". And thus the rich man "saw only his life and didn't realize what was happening" to Lazarus.

In the final analysis, Francis affirmed, "the rich man wasn't bad, he was sick: afflicted with worldliness". And "worldliness transforms souls, makes them lose consciousness of reality: they live in an artificial world", which they create. Worldliness "anaesthetizes the soul", and "this is why that worldly man wasn't able to see reality".

This is why, the Pope explained, "the second story is clear": there are "so many people who end their lives in a difficult way" but "if I have a worldly heart, I will never understand this". After all, "with a worldly heart" it is impossible to comprehend "the necessities and needs of others. With a worldly heart you can go to Church, you can pray, you can do many things". But what did Jesus pray for at the Last Supper? "Please, Father, protect these disciples" so that "they do not fall in the world, do not fall into worldliness". And worldliness "is a subtle sin, it's more than a sin: it's a sinful state of soul"….

…. And all of this "because, in truth, the worldly are alone with their selfishness". Then in the text of Jeremiah there is also a blessing: "Blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord, whose trust is the Lord. He is like a tree planted by water", while the other "was like a shrub in the desert". This, then, is "the final judgement: nothing is more treacherous for a heart and difficult to heal: that man had a sick heart, so battered by this worldly lifestyle that it was very difficult to heal".