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The Sickness of Indifference

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The Sickness of Indifference

Pope Francis assured the “€œbeloved Mexican people”€ of his prayers “€œthat the violence, which in recent days has even affected several priests, may cease”€. At the Angelus on Sunday, 25 September, in St Peter”€™s Square, following the Mass for the Jubilee of
Catechists, the Pope wished to unite himself to the bishops of Mexico in support
of “€œthe efforts of the Church and civil society in favour of the family and of
life, which at this time call for special pastoral and cultural attention
throughout the world”€.

Previously, in the Mass he celebrated for 25,000 catechists who were gathered from all over the world on the occasion of their Jubilee, Francis commented on the readings
from the liturgy of the day, and in particular on the parable of the rich man
and Lazarus. He denounced the insensitivity which today “€œcauses chasms to be
dug that can never be crossed. And we”€, he explained, “€œ have fallen, at this
time, into the sickness of indifference, selfishness and worldliness”€.However,
he clarified, the “€œGospel helps us understand what it means to love”€ and “€œto
avoid certain risks”€, such as ending up as the rich man in the parable, who in
reality “€œdoes not do evil towards anyone”€, but “€œsuffers from terrible blindness”€ which makes him unable to “€œlook beyond his world”€: he “€œdoes not see with his eyes, because he cannot feel with his heart”€.

Indeed, the Pontiff noted, in his heart “€œa worldliness has entered which anaesthetizes the soul”€. This worldliness is like a “€œblack hole”€ that “€œswallows 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”€. And whoever “€œsuffers 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”€.

In contrast, the Pope continued in his reflection, God “€œlooks at those who are neglected and discarded by the world”€. To the extent that “€œLazarus is the only one named in all of Jesus”€™ parables”€. The rich man in the parable, “€œon the other hand, does not even have
a name; his life passes by forgotten, because whoever lives for himself does
not write history”€; Christians “€œmust go out from themselves, to write history!”€

Hence Francis”€™ invitation to catechists “€œto find ways of meeting and helping”€ the
poor in particular, because, he concluded, they “€œare not an afterthought in the
Gospel but an important page, always open before all”€.


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