Pope Francis: at Santa Marta, ask the Lord for “the grace to see” the poor “who knock at your heart”

Let us ask the Lord for the “grace to see” the poor “who knock at our hearts”. Pope Francis made this appeal at the Mass he celebrated at Santa Marta today, Vatican Radio reports. Reflecting on the parable in today’s Gospel of the rich man “dressed in purple garments and fine linen who dined sumptuously each day” but could not see that “a poor man named Lazarus was lying at his door, covered with sores”, the Pontiff observed that he “was a religious man”, “but locked up in his little world – the world of banquets, clothes, vanity, and friends –, a man locked up in a bubble of vanity. He could not see beyond his little world. This man could not perceive what was happening outside of his closed world. He could not see the needs of many people, the fact that the sick needed company, for example, he was just caring for himself, his wealth, his good life: he loved his good life”. Hence, he was cloaked “in an outward religiosity”, “closed in on himself”, he was “walking the path of falsehood”, “trusting only in himself and his possessions, but not in God”. It is interesting to note – Pope Francis remarked – that he “has no name. The Gospel only tells us that he was a rich man, but does not tell us what his name was”. “I ask myself – Pope Francis continued -: ‘why was it that God, who is a Father, did not have mercy on this man? Why did not he knock at his heart to move him? Yes, he was there, at the door, in the person of that Lazarus who had a name. That Lazarus, with his needs and miseries, with his sores, was actually the Lord Himself knocking at his door, begging this man to open his heart and let mercy in”. In this Lenten season, let us ask ourselves which path we are walking, let us ask the Lord for the “grace to always see those people who, like Lazarus, knock at our hearts, and reach out to them with generosity, with mercy, so that the mercy of God may enter our hearts”.

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