“Of all the preposterous assumptions of humanity over humanity, nothing exceeds most of the criticisms made on the habits of the poor by the well-housed, well- warmed, and well-fed.” - Herman Melville
(Scripture text: Prv 21:1-6, 10-13)
Like a stream is the king's heart in the hand of the LORD;
wherever it pleases him, he directs it.
All the ways of a man may be right in his own eyes,
but it is the LORD who proves hearts.
To do what is right and just
is more acceptable to the LORD than sacrifice.
Haughty eyes and a proud heart?
the tillage of the wicked is sin.
The plans of the diligent are sure of profit,
but all rash haste leads certainly to poverty.
Whoever makes a fortune by a lying tongue
is chasing a bubble over deadly snares.
The soul of the wicked man desires evil;
his neighbor finds no pity in his eyes.
When the arrogant man is punished, the simple are the wiser;
when the wise man is instructed, he gains knowledge.
The just man appraises the house of the wicked:
there is one who brings down the wicked to ruin.
He who shuts his ear to the cry of the poor
will himself also call and not be heard.
Whatever we do for "the least of the brethren," we do for Jesus (Mt 25:40). When we don't give to "the least of the brethren," we also deprive ourselves of receiving. We'll have possessions which we've withheld from the poor, but we won't have peace, true joy, or fulfillment.
If one member suffers, all the members suffer with it; if one member is honored, all the members share its joy" (1 Cor 12:26). For example, if one part of your physical body is hurting, your whole body is suffering. Even if you try to ignore that part of your body, it still hurts, and so do you.
The first world is depressed because the third world is oppressed. When we love the poor, we love a part of our own body. The Lord promises: "Happy is he who has regard for the lowly and the poor; in the day of misfortune the Lord will deliver him. The Lord will keep and preserve him; He will make him happy on the earth, and not give him over to the will of his enemies. The Lord will help him on his sickbed, He will take away all his ailment when he is ill" (Ps 41:2-4).
Blessed are the pure of heart for they shall see the face of God (Mat 5:8). Only and until we purify our hearts shall we hear the cry of the poor and act according to the Lord's will.