According to Vatican Radio, the Holy Father reflected on today's Gospel from St. Luke, which recalled the parable of the rich man and Lazarus, a poor man who would eat the scraps that fell from the rich man's table. The Pope noted that while the man is noted for his wealth and indifference towards Lazarus, there is no mention in the Gospel that he was a bad person.
“He was, perhaps, a religious man, in its own way: he prayed, perhaps, a few prayers and two or three times a year definitely went to the temple to make the sacrifices and gave large offerings to the priests, and they – with their clerical pusillanimity – gave him to sit in the place of honor," the Pope said.
“When he went about town, we might imagine his car with tinted windows so as not [to be] seen from without – who knows – but definitely, yes, his soul, the eyes of his soul were darkened so that he could not see out. He saw only into his life, and did not realize what had happened to [himself]. He was not bad: he was sick, sick with worldliness – and worldliness transforms souls."
The Pope went on to say that those caught up in worldliness live in an "artificial world" that numbs the soul, thus allowing people to be blind to the sufferings of others.
"With a worldly heart you can go to church, you can pray, you can do so many things. But Jesus, at the Last Supper, in the prayer to the Father, what did He pray? ‘But please, Father, keep these disciples from falling into the world, from falling into worldliness.’"
Worldliness – he said – "is a subtle sin. It is more than a sin: it is a sinful state of the soul.”
The Jesuit Pope added that the emptiness of the rich man's soul becomes a curse while the poor man's trust in the Lord turned into a blessing. He also noted that while the poor man was given a name in the Gospel, the rich man did not.
“[The rich man] had no name, because the worldly lose their name. They are just one of the crowd affluent, who do not need anything. The worldly lose their name.”
Concluding his homily, Pope Francis said that Abraham serves as a figure of God the Father. Despite the sins of the worldly, he added, they still have a father.
"We are not orphans, however: until the end, until the last moment there is the confidence that we have a Father who awaits us," he said. "Let us entrust ourselves to Him. ‘Son,’ he says: ‘son’, in the midst of that worldliness; ‘son.’ We are not orphans.”