Thursday, April 7, 2016

"The poverty in the West is a different kind of poverty -- it is not only a poverty of loneliness but also of spirituality. There's a hunger for love, as there is a hunger for God.”

Scripture Text: (PS 34:2 AND 9, 17-18, 19-20)
R. (7a) The Lord hears the cry of the poor.
I will bless the LORD at all times;
his praise shall be ever in my mouth.
Taste and see how good the LORD is;
blessed the man who takes refuge in him.
R. The Lord hears the cry of the poor.
The LORD confronts the evildoers,
to destroy remembrance of them from the earth.
When the just cry out, the LORD hears them,
and from all their distress he rescues them.
R. The Lord hears the cry of the poor.
The LORD is close to the brokenhearted;
and those who are crushed in spirit he saves.
Many are the troubles of the just man,
but out of them all the LORD delivers him.
R. The Lord hears the cry of the poor.

But why the continual reference to the “cry of the poor” when considering our relationship of trust with God?  Perhaps thinking of ourselves as poor, even if we aren’t materially poor, is a good way to place ourselves in an attitude of obedience and repentance.  It takes trust on our part to recognize that we need God.  A lot of people don’t trust God because they don’t think they need God.  But no matter who we are, we are without our own self-sufficiency and in need of God’s benevolence…..not just to meet our material needs, but our spiritual needs.  We are spiritually poorly clothed, homeless, and hungry in the eyes of God when we desperately seek refuge in the Lord for our troubles…and we all have plenty of troubles.  But the Lord hears us out of that poverty.  We are distressed by the evil that surrounds us when we cry out to the Lord to save us.  And the Lord hears us and rescues us from weakness.  And the greatest poverty we experience is when we are lost, alone and brokenhearted in this world.  Our spirits are so easily crushed to emptiness.  But the Lord comes to us and delivers us from this poverty of spirit.  The Psalm response today assures us that we can trust that the Lord hears the cry of the poor….we poor things….lost, alone, empty, guilty, frightened, brokenhearted, and in so many ways, in dire distress.  But in all of these instances of our poverty, God is trustworthy. 

As people of God we should pray with gratitude often each day, “God is trustworthy.” 

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