During a homily Pope Francis delivered at the chapel of Saint Martha residence in Vatican, the Pope explained through a parable he shared that going to church does not automatically make you a good person.
The parable from the Gospel of Luke tells the story of a beggar named Lazarus and a rich man. Lazarus, suffering from famine and illnesses, was ignored by the rich man, his neighbor, who was always finely clothed and constantly had lavish meals.
The rich man was a religious person and always did good things for the church. He often prayed, offered sacrifices to the temple, and gave big donations to the priests. Pope Francis, however, didn’t see these good deeds as substantial because he failed to see and acknowledge the plight of Lazarus who was just his neighbor.
Pope Francis said that a lot of religious people give in to worldliness and this makes them blind to the sufferings of the people around them.
“With a worldly heart you can go to church, you can pray, you can do may things. But if your heart is worldly you cannot understand the needs and hardships of others,” the Pope said.
He also added that being unable to see the sufferings of others is not only a subtle sin but a sinful state of the soul.
Pope Francis also gave an Easter message during the Waster vigil service regarding the Islamic attacks in Belgium.
“Let us not allow darkness and fear to distract us and control our hearts. Today is the celebration of our hope. It is so necessary today,” he said.