(Part 23)


January 20, 2015

Today’s psalm:  Psalm 111:1-10

Today’s psalm praises God and His great works. Who benefits from God’s great works? His people. “He showed his powerful deeds to his people” (v.6a). Who are God’s people? Those who are in covenant with Him.

Now in considering His covenant with His people, God looks to providing for His people’s needs. God looks to the poor. “He gives food to those who fear him, he remembers his covenant forever.” (v.5). “He sent release to his people, decreed his covenant forever” (v.9a).

God’s covenant with Israel, given through Moses, contained lots of prescriptions for caring for the poor.

Jesus reiterated this emphasis, proclaiming his mission “to bring glad tidings to the poor …. to proclaim liberty to captives and …. to let the oppressed go free” (Lk 4:18).

The Church, the new Israel, reiterated this emphasis, during the Council of Jerusalem, when the mission to the Gentiles was proclaimed. “Only, we were to be mindful of the poor” (Gal 2:10a).

Through the centuries, the Catholic Church has done massive work with the poor. The Church pioneered formal education, enabling the largely ignorant masses of avenues for learning. The Church pioneered formal health care systems, enabling the sick to be cared for. Even today, the Catholic Church is the largest social action organization in the whole world.

Within the last decades, the Church reiterated her desire and mission to build the Church of the Poor. Now we have a pope, Pope Francis, who is a recognized man of the poor, who desires that the Church be one that is poor and minister to the poor.

Such is the holy and apostolic Roman Catholic Church, of which we are a part. As such, one of our 7 Core Values is “Living a Preferential Option for the Poor.” And this year, our theme is “Look at Jesus, Look to the Poor.”

We are God’s covenanted people, and the poor are His covenanted people. Let us give our all in doing our works of evangelization, especially in the peripheries, and our work with the poor, bring God’s salvation and love to His people.

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