Scripture Reading: Psalm 41:1

Peter Maurin wrote “in the first centuries of Christianity the poor were fed, clothed, and sheltered at a personal sacrifice and the Pagans said about the Christians: See how they love each other.” All through Scripture it is clear that God loves the poor and wants us to demonstrate a compassionate and sympathetic heart toward the needy. God’s word emphasizes helping those who are in need – the poor, elderly, sick, and vulnerable. How do we care for the poor? How are we to provide for the hungry? What are we to do about the marginalized who are treated unjustly? God clearly has a special place in His heart for the poor. Let us examine some Scriptural verses to see how God wants us to have concerns for the poor in a more practical way.

(1) GOD WANTS HIS PEOPLE TO MAKE PROVISIONs FOR THE POOR (Leviticus 19:9–10) “When you reap the harvest of your land, do not reap to the very edges of your field or gather the gleanings of your harvest. Do not go over your vineyard a second time or pick up the grapes that have fallen. Leave them for the poor and the foreigner. I am the Lord your God.” In your monthly financial plan/budget do you have budget for charity?

(2) DO NOT PERVERT JUSTICE (Leviticus 19:15) “Do not pervert justice; do not show partiality to the poor or favouritism to the great, but judge your neighbour fairly.” The poor are to be cared for, but not in a way that shows prejudice against the rich. Likewise, the rich are not to receive special treatment when decisions are made.

(3) LEND TO THE POOR WITHOUT INTEREST. Exodus 22:25: “If you lend money to any of My people who are poor among you, you shall not be like a moneylender to him; you shall not charge him interest.” One of the first verses in the Bible about the poor is tied to the issue of debt. God did not want His people taking advantage of a poor man by charging excessive interest. Oh wait, check that…they were to charge the poor no interest at all. Loaning the money was fine, but the lender was not to expect anything back other than the original loan amount. God stated this command again in Leviticus 25:36-37.

MASS: WHITE 1 Jn 2: 12-17; Ps 96: 7-8a. 8b-9. 10(R. 11a); Accl. A hallowed day has shone upon us; come, O nations, and adore the Lord; for today a great light has come down to earth; Gospel Lk 2: 36-40 ST. SABINUS & COMPS

Prayer Points:

1.            Pray for the Lord to pour out His grace on hungry people – men, women and children.

2.            Pray for those who can’t find work to provide for their families, and for the children who forgo an education, so they can work to help put food on the table.

3.            Ask the Lord to make you one of the DSD users interested in showing love to the poor through DSD planned Charity programs.

4.            Pray for DSD Team that the good Lord may help them to continue unhindered with their obligation to show Charity to the needy.

Exercise: In our call to consider the poor, let us practise the three practical ways highlighted today. Pray to join the 2022 DSD 21-day fasting starting from Monday, January 3rd.

Meditation: Leviticus 19:10