September 25, 2012
Proverbs 21: 1-6, 10-13
The king’s heart is a stream of water in the hand of the Lord; he turns it wherever he will. All deeds are right in the sight of the doer, but the Lord weighs the heart. To do righteousness and justice is more acceptable to the Lord than sacrifice. Haughty eyes and a proud heart— the lamp of the wicked—are sin. The plans of the diligent lead surely to abundance, but everyone who is hasty comes only to want. The getting of treasures by a lying tongue is a fleeting vapor and a snare of death.
The souls of the wicked desire evil; their neighbors find no mercy in their eyes. When a scoffer is punished, the simple become wiser; when the wise are instructed, they increase in knowledge. The Righteous One observes the house of the wicked; he casts the wicked down to ruin. If you close your ear to the cry of the poor, you will cry out and not be heard.
New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989, by the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. USCCB approved (http://www.usccb.org/bible/approved-translations)
On the Streets
If you refuse to listen to the cry of the poor, your own cry for help will not be heard.
The past president of Haverford College, John Coleman, wanted to know firsthand how it felt to be poor and homeless. So he lived for ten days on the streets of New York City without money or shelter. A diary of his experience was published in New Yorker
magazine. One entry read: “I walk much more slowly. I no longer see a need to beat the traffic light. Force of habit still makes me look at my wrist. But there’s no watch there, and it wouldn’t make any difference if there was. The thermometer has become much more important. I go to the heated grate on 47th
Street. The man who was there last night is already in place.”
Excerpted from Mission, by Fr. Mark Link, S.J. ©2000 RCL Enterprises, Inc., Allen TX. For more prayer resources from Fr. Link, please visit www.staygreat.com
Lord, who will be the poor we see today? The heart has so many chambers of poverty. But the pretended smile can cover so much. Give us the sensitivity to listen well. Give us the wisdom to slow down and be fully present to the other. And should we find ourselves unable to solve the problem or contribute to the solution , let our care uplift the spirit of the other. And, Lord, for anyone discouraged in their search for work and for those riddled with anxiety because of financial worries, please bring resources into their lives.
—The Jesuit Prayer Team
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