The poor and the needy

by Joyce Rupp

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What a joy it was to celebrate the feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe at the Basilica in Mexico City. It is there that the cloak of Juan Diego, with its imprint of Mary, hangs for all to see. Pilgrims, many of them poor peasants, walk for miles to be able to view the cloak and pray beneath it. Their only wealth is their deep faith in God’s abiding presence. Their joy is the bonding they feel with the Mother of God who revealed herself to one of their own.

He raises up the poor from the dust; he lifts the needy from the ash heap, to make them sit with princes and inherit a seat of honor.
               —1 Samuel 2:8

I stood among these people on that feast and felt richly blessed by their presence. I felt God’s goodness continuing to be revealed through them. I heard in my heart the words of Hannah’s canticle: God lifts up the poor. I also felt a call to do my part to change the structures and systems that oppress the disenfranchised and impoverished people.

Mary, source of hope for God’s lowly ones,
may I be bonded in love with those who are in need.
May I also do my part to work for justice
so that the poor will be lifted from the ashes of oppression.

"The poor and the needy" is from Inviting God In: Scriptural Reflections and Prayers Throughout the Year by Joyce Rupp (Ave Maria Press) 2001.


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