Who do we listen to? Our family, our friends, what about the weak, the poor, the orphan and the widow, those in need? Listening to the passage from the Book of Sirach today, God knows no favorites, but God listens to the cry of the oppressed, responds to the needs of the orphan and hears the sorrow of the widow. Those who probably pray constantly to God, who serve God willingly are familiar to God. Those who have a relationship with God on a regular basis, God recognizes immediately. They have taken the time to communicate, to be in touch with the God of their faith.
God knows no favorites, but what about those who make God their favorite? They dialogue with God/Christ and listen for God’s voice on a daily basis, pouring out their thoughts, ideas, needs and even their complaints like the widow in last Sunday’s Gospel. She was persistent in her pleas with the dishonest magistrate. God knows their voices, knows the voices of those who suffer most when God’s plan is subverted or ignored, the plan for justice and peace in the world.
When greed and injustice reign, God certainly hears the cry of the poor, echoing God’s own lament that people fail to see the possibilities: feeding the hungry when we are capable of doing that, seeking peace among warring factions rather than exerting selfish power now, and seeking a way to cohabit this planet equitably rather than seeking one’s own gain apart from all others. These are the Gospel ideals that in a few places on this planet are real and put into action. May we lift our voices in prayer, walk humbly with God and do justice where and when we can.
Father Larry Hendel, Pastor