Wednesday, July 01, 2015

Don't Be Afraid

God heard the boy’s cry, and God’s messenger called to Hagar from heaven: “What is the matter, Hagar? Don’t be afraid; God has heard the boy’s cry in this plight of his. Arise, lift up the boy and hold him by the hand; for I will make of him a great nation.”  Genesis 21:17-18

When Jesus came to the territory of the Gadarenes, two demoniacs who were coming from the tombs met him. They were so savage that no one could travel by that road. They cried out, “What have you to do with us, Son of God? Have you come here to torment us before the appointed time?”  Matthew 8:28-29

I will bless the Lord at all times,
with praise ever in my mouth.
Let my soul glory in the Lord,
who will hear the cry of the poor.

Let the lowly hear and be glad:
the Lord listens to their pleas;
and to hearts broken, God is near,
who will hear the cry of the poor.

By John Foley, S.J. (1978)

We might turn our backs on the cry of the poor and call them lazy.  However, the Lord hears everyone who calls Him by name – even demoniacs -- and responds. 

Abraham and Sarah, though they know how blessed they have been with the birth of their son Isaac, turn their backs on Hagar and Ishmael.  Yet no amount of exile from society can exile these two from being in the earshot of the Lord. Ishmael is blessed in the same way that Isaac. 

The Lord does not stop with the poor or the huddled masses yearning to breathe free, either.  In the Good News, we also witness Jesus responding to the two demoniacs who know his name (There is the significance of “naming” and identity again.).  Even though the people of Israel and the disciples are still not sure what to make about this carpenter’s son from Nazareth, there is not a shred of doubt in these evil spirits that they are in the presence of the Son of God.  They specifically call him out by name. 

Do you hear the cry of the poor?  Or are you turning your back while you go shopping or rush to work or some other recreational activity? 

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