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When We Fear You Do Not See Us

First Reading: Micah 2:1-5

Woe to those who plan iniquity,
and work out evil on their couches;
In the morning light they accomplish it
when it lies within their power.
They covet fields, and seize them;
houses, and they take them;
They cheat an owner of his house,
a man of his inheritance.
Therefore thus says the LORD:
Behold, I am planning against this race an evil
from which you shall not withdraw your necks;
Nor shall you walk with head high,
for it will be a time of evil.

On that day a satire shall be sung over you,
and there shall be a plaintive chant:
“Our ruin is complete,
our fields are portioned out among our captors,
The fields of my people are measured out,
and no one can get them back!”
Thus you shall have no one
to mark out boundaries by lot
in the assembly of the LORD.

Responsorial Psalm: Psalm 10:1-2, 3-4, 7-8, 14

R. (12b) Do not forget the poor, O Lord!
Why, O LORD, do you stand aloof?
Why hide in times of distress?
Proudly the wicked harass the afflicted,
who are caught in the devices the wicked have contrived.
R. Do not forget the poor, O Lord!
For the wicked man glories in his greed,
and the covetous blasphemes, sets the LORD at nought.
The wicked man boasts, “He will not avenge it”;
“There is no God,” sums up his thoughts.
R. Do not forget the poor, O Lord!
His mouth is full of cursing, guile and deceit;
under his tongue are mischief and iniquity.
He lurks in ambush near the villages;
in hiding he murders the innocent;
his eyes spy upon the unfortunate.
R. Do not forget the poor, O Lord!
You do see, for you behold misery and sorrow,
taking them in your hands.
On you the unfortunate man depends;
of the fatherless you are the helper.
R. Do not forget the poor, O Lord!

Gospel: Matthew 12:14-21

The Pharisees went out and took counsel against Jesus
to put him to death.

When Jesus realized this, he withdrew from that place.
Many people followed him, and he cured them all,
but he warned them not to make him known.
This was to fulfill what had been spoken through Isaiah the prophet:

Behold, my servant whom I have chosen,
my beloved in whom I delight;
I shall place my Spirit upon him,
and he will proclaim justice to the Gentiles.
He will not contend or cry out,
nor will anyone hear his voice in the streets.
A bruised reed he will not break,
a smoldering wick he will not quench,
until he brings justice to victory.
And in his name the Gentiles will hope.

NAB

DEV_JU16

Why, O LORD, do You stand aloof?

Why hide in times of distress?

Do You not see my broken heart, my husband’s grieving, our son’s anxiety, our neighbor’s infertility, this friend’s cancer, that friend’s unemployment?

Do You not see the mess we’ve made of our culture? The evil lurking in every day’s headlines? The collective despair for the future of our world and our children?

Why, O LORD, do You stand aloof? Why hide in times of distress?

But the Psalmist says You do see. You see us; you see the poor. You see the hurting, lonely, sick, forsaken, depressed, lost, angry, jealous, confused, exhausted—You see all of us.

For You behold misery and sorrow. You take us in your hands. On You we depend; You are our help.

So when we are tempted to cry out that You do not see us, or when we despair that this world seeks our destruction, let us follow the example of Your Son.

Let us withdraw from that dangerous place and draw closer to You. Let us place our trust in Jesus, the one upon whom You placed Your Spirit. Let us believe that He will see and heal us, too—that He will bring justice and victory, delight and hope.

And as we begin to believe that You do see us, open our eyes even wider to start to see each other. Beyond the bright facades, the shiny veneer, the political bravado, the divisive rhetoric, the toxic judgment, the selfish comfort, the frightened isolation—help us to see that we belong to each other because we belong to You.

Do not forget the poor, God. Do not forget any one of us. Do not let us forget each other.

Meditate upon the Psalmist’s words again today. Ask yourself how you forget the poor. Bow your head and pray to God for the grace to see as He sees, beholding misery and sorrow, taking them into His hands.

photo credit

Laura Kelly Fanucci is a mother, writer, and theological researcher. She and her husband are raising three little boys in the suburban wilds of Minnesota. You can find out more about her here.

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