Bulletin: October 23, 2022
Thirtieth Sunday in Ordinary Time
In these waning weeks of the liturgical year, our readings present us with God’s vision for the world, in which the prayer of the lowly pierces the clouds and the humble are exalted in God’s sight. It is not always easy to follow Jesus, to stand for justice, share love, and bring peace when there is so much division, poverty, loneliness, and pain in our homes, workplaces, cities, and world. We do not stand alone, however. We who are disciples and servants are assured that the Lord will hear our petitions, stand by us, and give us strength as we strive to bear witness to the good news of salvation.
THE LORD HEARS THE CRY OF THE POOR
It is easy for those who do not face food insecurity or homelessness to turn a deaf ear to those who struggle for survival. We may regularly drive by the street corner and ignore the person who stands there each day asking for help. We might see the commercial on TV, hear the plea on the radio or in our churches, and yet not let the message in, ignoring not only the need but the people whose needs are great. The prophet Sirach and the psalmist tell us that the Lord is not like us—God hears the cries of the oppressed, the orphan and widow, the vulnerable among us. As Christian disciples, we are called to become more like our loving, compassionate God who hears the cry of the poor.
Jesus’ parable in today’s Gospel tells the story of two people. The Pharisee is puffed up with his own importance. His prayer is more a statement of self-justification in which he positions himself as being above the rest of humanity. So much so that he prays to himself, thanking God that he is so much better than everyone else! The tax collector on the other hand raises his eyes to God and acknowledges his sinfulness. He is the one Jesus says is justified, exalted in God’s sight. What about us? Are we so puffed up with our own importance, so caught up in the stuff of our daily lives that we fail to recognize our failings or to see the needs of the people around us? This week, let us ask the Lord to pierce our hearts, help us to genuinely admit our failings, and truly live as followers of the one who gave his life so that all might live life to the fullest. God hears the cries of the weakest and relies on us to respond.