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The Lord Hears the Cry of the Poor

First Reading: Proverbs 21:1-6, 10-13

Like a stream is the king’s heart in the hand of the LORD;
wherever it pleases him, he directs it.

All the ways of a man may be right in his own eyes,
but it is the LORD who proves hearts.

To do what is right and just
is more acceptable to the LORD than sacrifice.

Haughty eyes and a proud heart–
the tillage of the wicked is sin.

The plans of the diligent are sure of profit,
but all rash haste leads certainly to poverty.

Whoever makes a fortune by a lying tongue
is chasing a bubble over deadly snares.

The soul of the wicked man desires evil;
his neighbor finds no pity in his eyes.

When the arrogant man is punished, the simple are the wiser;
when the wise man is instructed, he gains knowledge.

The just man appraises the house of the wicked:
there is one who brings down the wicked to ruin.

He who shuts his ear to the cry of the poor
will himself also call and not be heard.

Responsorial Psalm: Psalm 119:1, 27, 30, 34, 35, 44

R. (35) Guide me, Lord, in the way of your commands.
Blessed are they whose way is blameless,
who walk in the law of the LORD.
R. Guide me, Lord, in the way of your commands.
Make me understand the way of your precepts,
and I will meditate on your wondrous deeds.
R. Guide me, Lord, in the way of your commands.
The way of truth I have chosen;
I have set your ordinances before me.
R. Guide me, Lord, in the way of your commands.
Give me discernment, that I may observe your law
and keep it with all my heart.
R. Guide me, Lord, in the way of your commands.
Lead me in the path of your commands,
for in it I delight.
R. Guide me, Lord, in the way of your commands.
And I will keep your law continually,
forever and ever.
R. Guide me, Lord, in the way of your commands.

Gospel: Luke 8:19-21

The mother of Jesus and his brothers came to him
but were unable to join him because of the crowd.
He was told, “Your mother and your brothers are standing outside
and they wish to see you.”
He said to them in reply, “My mother and my brothers
are those who hear the word of God and act on it.”

NAB

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When most people visit Paris, they spend their time viewing the Eiffel Tower and the Louvre. But there are other hidden treasures scattered throughout the city besides the world-renowned monuments and museums. One such place is the Missions Etrang. It is the house of missionary priests who minister to Asian countries.

On a visit I made there, our group was told the story of Saint Theophane Venard, a martyr who died in Vietnam during the 19th century. Although, not well known in the United States, he is a saint beloved by the French. Saint Therese of the Child Jesus’ spirituality was greatly influenced by the example of his life—his missionary zeal and martyrdom.

Many Asian countries have been (and still are) very hostile to Christianity. During the 19th century, there was a very strong movement to evangelize Asia, but most who attempted lost their lives, usually in a very brutal way.

A few of these brutalities ranged from the kind of instruments of torture and death used upon the missionaries and natives who practiced Christianity during that time to tiny cages in which they were captured making it impossible to sit or lie down. Even the saw blades used for beheadings were so dull they never finished the job with one cut.

I was struck by the horror of these deaths, but equally inspired at the depth of love one must have for Christ to endeavor to spread His love when faced with the possibility of such an end.

Today’s saint, Saint Andrew Kim, is a contemporary of Saint Theophane. He is the first native-born priest of Korea. For many years, Korea did not have priests on their soil. The faith spread solely through the efforts of laymen. They were unable to receive the Eucharist or any sacraments, but yet, they kept the Faith alive. All these faithful men and women are also remembered today.

One of the Proverbs in the Reading today is: He who shuts his ear to the cry of the poor will himself also call and not be heard. Those poor who are persecuted for the Faith immediately come to mind. Although we may not see it so frequently on our own soil, there are many today who still suffer greatly for Christ.

[bctt tweet=”Let us be inspired at the depth of love one must have for Christ when faced with martyrdom.” username=”blessedisshe__”]

Let us remember in prayer today those in agony for the Faith, praying for their stamina and perseverance. They live for Christ; they give their all for Christ. Although we, too, have our sufferings, many of us are not so directly affected by practicing our Faith. These poor souls need our prayers for strength, guidance, and peace in the midst of persecution. Think of them today.

Listen to the song “The Lord Hears the Cry of the Poor” as we remember them today.

Laurel Muff is a creator and appreciator of beautiful things. She resides with her husband and daughters in Northern California. You can find more about her here.

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