This week's blog features a guest writer, parishioner Jim Sanders.

Pauline Books and Media, located at 1025 King Street, a short walk from Christ Church, is a gold mine of religious texts both current and ancient.  

I stopped in recently and picked up a copy of Lent with Pope Francis, Daily Reflections and Prayers.  The passage for Friday, during the second week of Lent, "The Path of Poverty," is an extract from an address given by Francis on October 4, 2013. 

In it, the Holy Father says, "The Christian is not the one who speaks about the poor, no!  He is one who encounters them, who looks them in the eye, who touches them...."  He then concludes that in order to save ourselves from sinking, it is necessary to know how to share, "how to be more in solidarity with those in need..."

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Fast backward to November 24, 1760.  On that day, John Wesley wrote in his Journal along similar lines.  "How much better is it," he noted, "to carry relief to the poor, than to send it!  And for both our own sake and theirs. For theirs, as it is so much more comfortable to them, and as we may then assist them in spirituals as well as temporals; and for our own, as it is far more apt to soften our heart, and to make us naturally care for each other."

I can't help but wonder, at this time when divisions are deepening, whether direct physical contact with those who have been left behind, might represent a first step in building the bridges needed to extricate us from our current predicament.  If so, the Lazarus Ministry's day has truly come.