Today’s refrain in the Responsorial Psalm is “The Lord hears the cry of the poor”. Do we ever hear that refrain, and immediately think of the poor in Africa, Calcutta or even the chronically poor in our own country. That certainly has been my thought over the years when I think about the Lord hearing and answering the cry of “poor” among us. Do we ever think of ourselves as poor? As being in need? Or are we ok, just need a little help now and then. We’ll ask for it if we need it. A temporary lifeline. Instead do we ever consider our own poverty? Our need for a Savior. God has seen mans need throughout history, and as we hear in today’s Gospel, in response, out of His love, He has sent His only Son that we might be saved, that we might have life, eternal life.
I retired a number of years ago and began a journey to deepen my interior life, to come closer to the Lord. To deepen my relationship with Him. That journey became one of coming to know the Lord and His love, but also of knowing myself. And letting the Lord know me. Not the varnished version I often might present, even to God. But of the real me He created and knows. It was there that I came to know, or I was shown, my poverty, my need. I may have always thought of myself as a “good” Catholic, but on this journey, even at 62 years old, I have been led to know myself in a deeper and truer way, seeing my poverty, my need for healing, my need for a Savior. It is not the physical poverty I had always thought of when I heard the refrain from the Psalm, but I truly have come to see myself as one of the Lord’s poor. I believe it is from that more humble place, that we are better able to be open to live the Lord’s truth and come into the light that we hear about in today’s Gospel, allowing The Lord to heal our poverty and draw us into new life with Him.
Steve Walsh is a retreatant at Mater Dolorosa Retreat Center in Sierra Madre ,and a good friend of the Passionist Community