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Tuesday of the Third Week of Advent
December 15, 2015

One week ago today, on December 8, we began the Jubilee of Mercy.  In our psalm response today we proclaim that the Lord hers the cry of the poor.  In Misericordiae Vultus (Bull of Indiction of the Extraordinary Jubilee of Mercy), Pope Francis tells us we must hear and heed the cry of the poor.  Their cry must be our own.  On this Advent Weekday, reflect on these words of Pope Francis, below.  What concrete actions can we take in our life to hear and respond to the cry of the poor? In what ways are we doing this already? In what ways do we ignore this cry?  In what ways is the cry of the poor our own cry? 
Today's Responsorial Psalm assures us that the Lord hears the cry of the poor. You can access today's Readings here.  The verses for today's psalm are taken from Psalm 34, with our response from verse 7a.

Pope Francis has often talked about his desire for a "poor church" -  a church which lives voluntary simplicity.  Listen to what Pope Francis says in the video below.

"In this Holy Year, we look forward to the experience of opening our hearts to those living on the outermost fringes of society: fringes which modern society itself creates. How many uncertain and painful situations there are in the world today! How many are the wounds borne by the flesh of those who have no voice because their cry is muffled and drowned out by the indifference of the rich! During this Jubilee, the Church will be called even more to heal these wounds, to assuage them with the oil of consolation, to bind them with mercy and cure them with solidarity and vigilant care. Let us not fall into humiliating indifference or a monotonous routine that prevents us from discovering what is new! Let us ward off destructive cynicism! Let us open our eyes and see the misery of the world, the wounds of our brothers and sisters who are denied their dignity, and let us recognize that we are compelled to heed their cry for help! May we reach out to them and support them so they can feel the warmth of our presence, our friendship, and our fraternity! May their cry become our own, and together may we break down the barriers of indifference that too often reign supreme and mask our hypocrisy and egoism!"   (Pope Francis,Misericordiae Vultus, 4/11/15, no. 15)

"We cannot escape the Lord’s words to us, and they will serve as the criteria upon which we will be judged: whether we have fed the hungry and given drink to the thirsty, welcomed the stranger and clothed the naked, or spent time with the sick and those in prison (cf. Mt 25:31-45). Moreover, we will be asked if we have helped others to escape the doubt that causes them to fall into despair and which is often a source of loneliness; if we have helped to overcome the ignorance in which millions of people live, especially children deprived of the necessary means to free them from the bonds of poverty; if we have been close to the lonely and afflicted; if we have forgiven those who have offended us and have rejected all forms of anger and hate that lead to violence; if we have had the kind of patience God shows, who is so patient with us; and if we have commended our brothers and sisters to the Lord in prayer. In each of these “little ones,” Christ himself is present. His flesh becomes visible in the flesh of the tortured, the crushed, the scourged, the malnourished, and the exiled… to be acknowledged, touched, and cared for by us. Let us not forget the words of Saint John of the Cross: “as we prepare to leave this life, we will be judged on the basis of love”. (Pope Francis,Misericordiae Vultus, 4/11/15, no. 15)