When we read about the disparity of wealth in the United States, most of us can feel very powerless. Hearing that 10% of the American people control 75% of the wealth is disconcerting and discouraging. What power does the average person have to help change our country's policies? In 2014, for instance, 268 members of congress were millionaires and their net worth was 9 times that of the average American. Why would congress want to address the economic danger of wealth disparity? Often depressed by their powerlessness, the poor lose heart and the will to work for change.
The Canaanite woman in today's gospel who asks Jesus to free her daughter of a demon is a remarkable example of someone who, despite overwhelming odds. refuses to be put off by Jesus' insistence that he was sent only to the lost sheep of the house of Israel. Far from allowing herself to be distracted by the rejection of Jesus and his disciples, she continues to advocate for her daughter. That she compares herself to a dog eating scraps from its master's table finally gets Jesus to look at her and acknowledge her faith.
Giving into discouragement or despair is not an option for Christians when they advocate for the poor. No matter the cost, believers must continue to follow the example of the Canaanite woman and work together with other people of faith for a just life for all in our society and around the world. (Charity in Truth)While we might not be successful all the time, the justice of our cause will surely move the hearts and minds of other believers to work for a society that refuses to allow some to live in destitution while others hoard resources.
Today, ask he Lord to teach you how to help the poor.
What aspects of life make you feel most powerless?