‘A Season of Prayer, Fasting, Almsgiving’ by Bishop DiMarzio

March 1, 2017 – Excerpted from Put Out Into the Deep, Bishop DiMarzio’s column in The Tablet:

My dear brothers and sisters in the Lord, since Lent has now begun, I call attention to the Message of His Holiness Pope Francis for Lent 2017 entitled “The Word is a gift. Other persons are a gift.”

The Word of God is a gift to us. In the Sacred Scripture, Jesus the Word Incarnate gives us the direction for Lent in works of fasting, prayer and almsgiving. To illustrate his point that “other persons” are also a gift, the Holy Father chooses to reflect on the parable of Lazarus. From the very beginning, we understand that Lazarus is a person whose name literally means, “God helps.” In fact, it is not a name; it just means a special person. The person in need was Lazarus who stood at the door of the house of a rich man begging for scraps, which came from his table. The rich man, totally unaware of the presence of Lazarus, ignored him for he was not a person to the rich man.

Our Holy Father tells us the essence of the parable, which shows that the rich man’s greed made him vain, when he says, “The lowest rung of this moral degradation is pride. The rich man dresses like a king and acts like a god, forgetting that he is merely mortal.”

Read the full text of the Bishop’s column on The Tablet website.