Bulletin: June 25, 2017
“Praise the Lord, for [God] has rescued the life of the poor from the power of the wicked!” (Jeremiah 20:13). After the great recession of 2008, the middle class shrank, and people who lost their jobs and often their homes sank into poverty. This is not the direction we should be heading. We should be lifting up the poor, helping them to stay afloat and build a sufficient life for themselves: own a home, feed and educate their children, have hope. For this is what God wills for us, to help our brothers and sisters, no matter their race, religion, national origin, or any other thing that makes them “different” from us. We must have mercy. Even those who have little are known to share what they have with those who have less. How much more should those who have much offer help to those who are stuck! As we sing in today’s responsorial psalm, “For the Lord hears the poor, / and [God’s] own who are in bonds [God] spurns not” (Psalm 69:33).
WITH YOUR CONSTANT HELP, O LORD
“I hear the whisperings of many: ‘Terror on every side!’ ” (Jeremiah 20:10). Of what are we afraid? Are we afraid of people speaking ill of us? Of those who seek our very lives? Are we afraid of falling into poverty? Of war on our own soil? It has been said that we are all just one hospitalization away from poverty; we should not be so confident in our material goods. We never know what may befall us. We must have mercy on those who have fallen into misfortune, and be ready to help our sisters and brothers just as God has mercy and helps us when we have tripped and fallen.
FEAR NO ONE
Poverty exists just as death exists. But we must not give up or lose hope! For God knows all our needs, and stands ready to help us. “For the Lord hears the poor, / and [God’s] own who are in bonds [God] spurns not” (Psalm 69:33). We may or may not be materially poor, but we are victims of our own tendency toward sin.
As in Adam all died, in Christ all remain alive. “But the gift is not like the transgression. For if by the transgression of the one the many died, how much more did the grace of God and the gracious gift of the one man Jesus Christ overflow for the many” (Romans 5:15). We look to God for mercy and comfort in our need. God hears our prayer, and in the secret recesses of our hurting hearts, God comforts us and offers us salvation. “Fear no one. Nothing is concealed that will not be revealed, nor secret that will not be known. What I say to you in the darkness, speak in the light; what you hear whispered, proclaim on the housetops” (Matthew 10:26–27).
We may be poor in material ways, or fear such poverty. We are all poor in our transgressions, large and small, but we need not fear, for God is with us in mercy and love. “[D]o not be afraid of those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul” (Matthew 10:28). God can be trusted.
Today’s Readings: Jer 20:10–13; Ps 69:8–10, 14, 17, 33–35; Rom 5:12–15; Mt 10:26–33