March 1, 2018
The following is an excerpt from a Pope Francis homily from 2016:
Today’s Gospel helps us understand what it means to love, and more than anything how to avoid certain risks. In the parable there is a rich man who does not notice Lazarus, a poor man who was “at his gate” (Lk 16:20).
This rich man, in fact, does not do evil towards anyone; nothing says that he is a bad man. But he has a sickness much greater than Lazarus’, who was “full of sores”; this rich man suffers from terrible blindness, because he is not able to look beyond his world, made of banquets and fine clothing. He cannot see beyond the door of his house to where Lazarus lies, because what is happening outside does not interest him.
He does not see with his eyes, because he cannot feel with his heart. For into it a worldliness has entered which anaesthetizes the soul. This worldliness is like a “black hole” that swallows up what is good, which extinguishes love, because it consumes everything in its very self.
And so here a person sees only outward appearances, no longer noticing others because one has become indifferent to everyone. The one who suffers from grave blindness often takes on “squinting” behavior: he looks with adulation at famous people, of high rank, admired by the world, yet turns his gaze away from the many Lazaruses of today, from the poor, from the suffering who are the Lord’s beloved.
For full text, go to: https://zenit.org/articles/popes-homily-at-jubilee-for-catechists/