Genesis 21:5, 8-20a
Psalm 34: 7-8, 10-11; 12-13
Today’s feast and readings give us concrete examples of our Responsorial Psalm (Ps. 34) …that the "Lord hears the cry of the poor…"
First of all, we celebrate Blessed Junipero Serra, Franciscan priest, who "Heard the cry of the poor". Desiring to become a missionary, he left his native Spain and sailed to central Mexico where he preached and taught. Appointed superior of Franciscans of the Indian Missions of Baja California in 1768, he went on to establish the Church in nine of the California Missions. John Paul II called him "an exemplary model of the selfless evangelizer." He died in 1784 at the age of 70 and was buried at Mission San Carlos Borromeo in Carmel, CA .
In our first reading from Genesis, we hear how God heard the cry of Hagar – concubine of Abraham who bore his son, Ishmael, and who, at the demands of Sarah, was sent out into the desert with only some bread and a skin of water to die. The child began to cry and God’s messenger called to Hagar from heaven… "Don’t be afraid’ God has heard the boy’s cry in this plight of his…and God was with the boy as he grew up…"
In our gospel today, Jesus heard the cry of the two demoniacs coming from the tombs to challenge him, and Jesus drove out their demons and they were healed.
As we reflect on these readings today: Two movements come to mind… you may have many others… In what distress do I call out to our loving God seeking help and healing today?
As the lord hears my cry… who cries out to me today? …do I hear the cry of the poor, those in pain, those in difficult situations, in my family, my neighbors, co-workers ,even enemies…the list goes on…
The words of Jesus come to mind… "What ever you do to the least of my brethren… you do to Me!" (Matt.25: 40-46) Lots of challenges for each of us today!!!!
Marcella Fabing, csj , is on the staff of Christ the King Passionist Retreat Center, Citrus Heights, California.