December 15: The Cry of the Poor

Published December 15, 2015 by Unprodigal Daughter

Tuesday

Today’s readings talk about righteousness. Scriptures tell us that Christ loves those  who are righteous, even when society does not. Righteousness, for Jesus, is not about worldly power and importance, but rather, it is about accepting his teachings through action. In the Gospel reading today, Jesus talks about saying one thing but doing another. Jesus tells us that those who are going to enter the Kingdom of Heaven are NOT those who simply say, “I love Jesus, and I am generally a good person.” 

For Christ, it takes a little more than that. Even the tax collector is heaven-bound if he turns around his actions. We are only paying lip service to being a good Christian if we proclaim that Christ is the Lord, but we do nothing for the ones he loves. 

In today’s Psalm, it says “When the poor one called out, the LORD heard,
and from all his distress he saved him.” Jesus is with those who suffer, because he loves them. We are called to love them, too, for we cannot truly say “I love Jesus, and I am generally a good person” and not also say “I love others, as Jesus does.”

Opening Prayer

Lord Jesus, 
You came to give honour to the least, those forgotten, overlooked and misjudged.
You came to give first place to the last, those left behind, misunderstood and undervalued.
You came to give a warm welcome to the lost, those who are orphaned, abandoned and destitute. 

Help us to be your ears to listen to their cries.
Help us to be your voice speaking out love and acceptance.
Help us to be your feet walking beside those in need.
Help us to be your hands to clothe, feed and shelter them. 

You came for the least, the lost and last of this world. 
Lord, hear our prayer.

Amen.

(taken from: http://www.lords-prayer-words.com/topics/prayer_for_the_poor.html#ixzz3uP9uiqH5

Daily Readings

Reading 1: ZEP 3:1-2, 9-13

Thus says the LORD:
Woe to the city, rebellious and polluted,
to the tyrannical city!
She hears no voice,
accepts no correction;
In the LORD she has not trusted,
to her God she has not drawn near.

For then I will change and purify
the lips of the peoples,
That they all may call upon the name of the LORD,
to serve him with one accord;
From beyond the rivers of Ethiopia
and as far as the recesses of the North,
they shall bring me offerings.

On that day
You need not be ashamed
of all your deeds,
your rebellious actions against me;
For then will I remove from your midst
the proud braggarts,
And you shall no longer exalt yourself
on my holy mountain.
But I will leave as a remnant in your midst
a people humble and lowly,
Who shall take refuge in the name of the LORD:
the remnant of Israel.
They shall do no wrong
and speak no lies;
Nor shall there be found in their mouths
a deceitful tongue;
They shall pasture and couch their flocks
with none to disturb them.

_______________________
Responsorial Psalm: PS 34:2-3, 6-7, 17-18, 19 AND 23

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.
Let my soul glory in the LORD;
the lowly will hear me and be glad.
R. The Lord hears the cry of the poor.
Look to him that you may be radiant with joy,
and your faces may not blush with shame.
When the poor one called out, the LORD heard,
and from all his distress he saved 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.
The LORD redeems the lives of his servants;
no one incurs guilt who takes refuge in him.
R. The Lord hears the cry of the poor.

_________________________
Gospel: MT 21:28-32

Jesus said to the chief priests and the elders of the people:
“What is your opinion?
A man had two sons.
He came to the first and said,
‘Son, go out and work in the vineyard today.’
The son said in reply, ‘I will not,’
but afterwards he changed his mind and went.
The man came to the other son and gave the same order.
He said in reply, ‘Yes, sir,’ but did not go.
Which of the two did his father’s will?”
They answered, “The first.”
Jesus said to them, “Amen, I say to you,
tax collectors and prostitutes
are entering the Kingdom of God before you.
When John came to you in the way of righteousness,
you did not believe him;
but tax collectors and prostitutes did.
Yet even when you saw that, you did not later change your minds and believe him.”

(taken from: USCCB.org)

Multimedia

Today’s Psalm reminds us that God is there with those who suffer. For a lovely reflection, enjoy this rendition of “The Cry of the Poor.”

Additional Activities 

God wants us to remember the poor (in poverty, in spirit, etc.) as well. Sometimes it is difficult to think of the feelings and needs of other people. Here are five passages for when your compassion is running low to encourage you to remember the poor. Another way to remember the poor is to learn about how our lives and choices effect the poor on a daily basis. Try taking this slave footprint test.

Closing Prayer

“When a poor person dies of hunger, it has not happened because God did not take care of him or her. It has happened because neither you nor I wanted to give that person what he or she needed.” -Mother Teresa (1910–1997)

Prayer for the Poor and the Neglected

Almighty and most merciful God,
we remember before you all poor and neglected persons whom it would be easy for us to forget:
the homeless and the destitute,
the old and the sick, and all who have none to care for them.
Help us to heal those who are broken in body or spirit, and to turn their sorrow into joy.
Grant this, Father, for the love of your Son, who for our sake became poor, Jesus Christ our Lord.

Amen.

(taken from: http://www.lords-prayer-words.com/topics/prayer_for_the_poor.html#ixzz3uPAYoXtD)

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