For he shall rescue the poor when he cries out,
and the afflicted when he has no one to help him.
He shall have pity for the lowly and the poor;
the lives of the poor he shall save.
It is striking how many of our Advent psalms and scripture readings speak of right actions, not just right beliefs. The spirit of this season seeks to place in our hearts a passion to act for justice, especially for the most vulnerable among us. These verses from Psalm 72 jolt me out of any navel-gazing I might be tempted to do at this time of year; they remind me that Advent isn’t only about interior spiritual renewal. Rather, God is demanding something of us, demanding that we see our fellow human beings, especially the poor, the way God sees them –with sympathy and love, and that we act toward them with preferential treatment. God is asking me this Advent to do something hard – journey through my days with a heightened awareness for the “lowly and poor” and to be God’s partner in bringing salvation to those most in need of it.
~ Brian Pinter