Fr Paul reads from the Gospel of Luke (16: 19-31) in which Jesus tells the parable of the Rich Man and Lazarus.

Fr Paul says, this story about Jesus only happens in the Gospels of Luke and it is another stark warning of the danger of wealth.

Fr Paul says, for him there are three particularly horrible features of today’s parable.Firstly, the flea-ridden dogs licking Lazarus’ sores: there were usually no pets as we know it in Palestine; dogs were either bristling guard-dogs or mangy strays.

Secondly, the Rich Man’s continuing self-absorption; even after death he still does not recognise Lazarus’ existence and thinks only of his own burning tongue; contrast this with the gentleness of Abraham who is caring for Lazarus.

Thirdly, the sheer stubbornness of the brothers; they are just not willing to listen, even to the most startling of events like rising from the dead. Nothing will distract them from their own selfish pre-occupations.

For today’s reflection, Fr Paul invites us to consider this lesson: Lent is a time of giving to others and not a time for self-absorption.