The Psalm response for today’s Liturgy of the Word sings out from Psalm 34: “The Lord hears the cry of the poor…” Upon hearing that, I am reminded of all the materially poor in the world and refugees who have nothing but what they can carry, those who may now have the safety of resettlement but are still bereft of any familiarity with place or persons with whom they had shared life. I think of those who have recently been victim of weather disasters in my own country who have suffered the loss of home and, sometimes, of family. I think of the homeless and those who are unemployed or under-employed. And then I think of the mentally and spiritually poor, those who struggle to find meaning in life. It is for all these people and more that today I pray this psalm of hope with trust in a God who will come to heal all ills, a God who hears the call: Come, O God, and do not delay!
My soul fills up and overflows with joy; all humble-hearted ones know this, they too are glad. O you who hear and know this inner state of joy, praise God with me, join strength to strength, your praise with mine…And even in the midst of troubles sore, look long and never be ashamed. See, it is God who hears and saves your life. Know too that heaven surrounds you with angelic forms, those messengers sent out by God to guard and guide you through the many storms of life…Indeed God hears the voice of all who cry in pain, drawing near to them with tender loving care. God comes so close to those who live with brokenness, to heal those with the deepest inner wounds. God is the healer of our shattered hearts. Yes, it is true, the troubles that plague humanity are vast and deep. But it is God who frees us from them all…So rescue us, O God, from all our ravaged ways, to live unending in the deep wellspring of your love. (Ps. 34: 2-3, 6-7, 17-19, 23)