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Friday, February 1, 2008

John Paul II Reflects on God as Defender of Poor

On December 2, 2004 John Paul II addressed a general audience, which he dedicated to reflect on Psalm 72:

“O God, give your judgment to the king; your justice to the son of kings; That he may govern your people with justice, your oppressed with right judgment … That he may defend the oppressed among the people, save the poor and crush the oppressor ... May he rule from sea to sea, from the river to the ends of the earth. May his foes kneel before him, his enemies lick the dust…. May all kings bow before him, all nations serve him. For he rescues the poor when they cry out, the oppressed who have no one to help.” Psalm 72:1-12

John Paul II said … “ We just heard the first great movement of this solemn prayer. It opens with an intense choral invocation to God so that he will grant the sovereign that gift which is fundamental for good government, justice. It is explained especially in relation to the poor who, instead, are usually the victims of power...

“If the rights of the poor are violated, an act is carried out which is not only politically incorrect but also morally unjust. According to the Bible, an act against God is also perpetrated, a religious offense, as the Lord is the guardian and defender of the poor and the oppressed, of widows and of orphans, namely, of those who do not have human protectors.”


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Anonymous said...

It is certainly correct what this person says about the rights of the poor being violated. But; it is more disturbing, at least in my opinion; that the same rights violations are being commited some times by the very same people in the Church that are in an authority position, and who are there, supposedly to protect snd to defend the dignity of the poor. God have mercy on them!. Because them, being in an authority position are making a big unjustice.

Anonymous said...

What bothers me when people say these things, and you know it is against the Church, is that there are bad people everywhere, in power in all types of organizations - governments, institutions, clubs, etc. There are corrupt rabbis, evangelical pastors, muslim imans, Boy Scout leaders, public school teachers, the list goes on. But the Pope always gets all the blame for all the bad in the world. JPII did the best he could with what he had and he always promoted love and compassion for the poor and vulnerable. K.D.

Anonymous said...

I do agree that we who call ourselves the "church" could do a much better job being honest and true to Christ's call to serve the poor and the abandoned. If the church was a child in school, what would our grade be on this topic? Would we flunk? That would have sorrowful eternal consequences for many, including our leaders!

Anonymous said...

I'm the person that wrote the first comment, I guess weas missinterpreted by some people. In order to understand my comment from the right perspective, we have to go ta St. Paul's letters, whrm he used the analogy of the human body and compared it to the Church. If a portion of the body is sick, the whole body will suffer. There is not easy escape out of this. Once in awhile we use in the Sunday Mass, one of the very early Creeds; the one; that I'm going to refer about this comment, is the one called THE APOSTLES CREED. By the way, this Creed is even older than the NICENE CREED. One of the Articles of Faith in that Creed says; that we believe in the COMMUNION OF SAINTS. It is very tempting to try to identify ourselves, when talking about this Communion, only with people like Francis of Assissi, or Mother Theresa or even with Msgr. Oscar Arnulfo Romero. But this is only a portion of this FUNDAMENTAL doctrine of the Christian Faith. As a community of faith in communion with each other, we are responsible for all the deeds that we make; no matter how private or secret, the act might be. In the Baptism we receive a triple call: We are call to be Kings, Priests and Prophets. I assume that we understand {more or less the meaning of the two first ones} but we seem to have a problem to really understand the Prophet role. In order to do that, we have to go back to the Bible and read the stories of the Prophets once again. We can see that the prophets role was not very much, about making prophecies for the future. It was more about making the denounce of the injustices and the wrong deeds of the people of Israel and the people around them. Most of those prophecies were very much against the kings, the rich people and the levites { the priestly class ] We can see that the Prophets were never quiet or shy, about what the message was all about it. We can see in them a lot of scare; but as soon as they got the confirmation from Yaweh to their ministry, they will go out, and do what they were supposed to be doing; tough; that by doing that, thet were persecuted or killed or both. We must never understimate the role of the Prophets in the Church; because by doing that, we are condemned to doom and to justice from Yaweh. We have to remember, when Jesus was weeping because Israel refused to hear his voice, and when He was saying, that because Jerusalem refused to listen to the Prophets,but persecuted and kill them; the city was under God's wrath. If we assume; that by being christians, we are in a better position than Israel, we are not. Hopefully we can use more often thi call to be Prophets