First Reading: Sir: 12-14, 16-18
Responsorial Psalm: Ps. 34: 2-3, 17-18, 19, 23
Second Reading: 2 Tm 4: 6-8 16-18
Gospel: Lk 18: 9-14
“The Lord hears the cry of the poor; God is not deaf to the poor and oppressed. “The Lord has ears for the just–when they cry out the Lord hears; their prayer reaches to the clouds and will not withdraw until the prayer is heard.” These comforting and hope-filled words given to us this Sunday, however, may seem to s today just empty promises in our milieu of so much violence, oppression, suffering, sadness on both personal and global levels. We may feel like crying out “WHERE ARE YOU GOD? WHEN WILL OUR PRAYER BE HEARD!” Paul experienced this deep desolation as we hear in the second reading but somehow felt God would be his defender and come to his aid –even though in the past he had been a great sinner–and have mercy on him. His prayer was heard, he eventually was justified.
We, too, aware that we have been and are sinners, must dare to embrace our sense of loss and helplessness, must continue to “pierce the clouds by our prayer until our prayer is heard” and we come to experience God in a deeper way, a different way than we have experienced before and know the great joy of being tenderly loved sinners.
Gracious God, we come crying out to you from the depths of our personal and communal weakness. Grant us the grace in our feelings of utter helplessness to believe that you do hear us and actually SHARE all the afflictions we are experiencing because of your tender love for us. Help us to realize that you invite us to be channels of the healing we so earnestly seek by “hearing the cries of the poor and oppressed around us and RESPONDING.” May we dare to add to the phrase, “the Lord hears the cry of the poor” our commitment, AND SO MUST WE!
Norma Rocklage, OSF