UP Catholic 03 10 2017 E Edition Page 11

doesnt have a name, and is described as wear- ing extravagant and expensive robes, flaunting his wealth in a clearly ostentatious way. Turning to St. Paul's declaration in his First Letter to Timothy that the love of money is the root of all evil, the pope noted that money is the primary source of envy, conflict and suspi- cion. Money, he said, can come to dominate us, even to the point of becoming a tyrannical idol. Instead of being an instrument at our service for doing good and showing solidarity toward others, money can chain us and the entire world to a selfish logic that leaves no room for love and hinders peace. However, while the rich man in the parable becomes vain out of greed, his appearances only mask an internal emptiness, making him a prisoner of his sin. For those corrupted by love of money, noth- ing exists beyond their own ego. Those around them do not come into their line of sight, the pope said, explaining that the result of this attachment is a sort of blindness. The rich man does not see the poor man who is starving, hurting, lying at his door. Reflecting on this passage is a good prepara- tion for Easter, Pope Francis said, explaining that Ash Wednesday's liturgy is similar to what is described in the passage, particularly with the administration of the ashes, which serves as a symbol of the end of our earthly lives. In the passage, both the rich man and Lazarus died, realizing that we brought nothing into the world, and we can take nothing out of it. The parable also offers a message for all Christians, he said, noting how the rich man wants to warn his brothers about what he is suf- fering. However, Abraham rejects the request, telling him that if his brothers didnt listen to Moses or the prophets, then they wont listen even if someone should rise from the dead. He said the rich mans real problem, then, is that he failed to heed God's word, and because of this lost his love for God and began to de- spise his neighbor. The word of God is alive and powerful, capa- ble of converting hearts and leading them back to God, he said, adding that when we close our heart to the gift of God's word, we end up closing our heart to the gift of our brothers and sisters. Lent, he said, is the favorable season for re- newing our encounter with Christ, living in his word, in the sacraments and in our neighbor. May the Holy Spirit lead us on a true journey of conversion, so that we can rediscover the gift of God's word, be purified of the sin that blinds us, and serve Christ present in our brothers and sisters in need, he said. Pope Francis closed his message encouraging the faithful to pray for one another so that, by sharing in the victory of Christ, we may open our doors to the weak and poor. Then we will be able to experience and share to the full the joy of Easter. www.upcatholic.org THE U.P. CATHOLIC DIOCESAN ANNUAL REPORT March 10, 2017 11 We look forward to working with you on future Diocesan projects. Providing quality construction in the Upper Peninsula for over a century 180 Traders Mine Road Iron Mountain, Michigan 49801 (906) 779-2303 www.gcfirst.com Dewitt Church Goods Inc. Restore the beauty of your tabernacle. Call today! Toll Free 1-866-950-3378 FROM PAGE 10 NEIGHBOR: See each person as a gift www.youtube.com/theupcatholic DANIEL IBANEZ/CNA Pope Francis at the general audience in St. Peter's Square on Feb. 22, 2017.

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