Saturday, April 13

The Humble Shall Eat

Stand in awe of him, all you descendants of Israel!
For he has not despised nor abhorred the affliction of the afflicted, neither has he hid his face from him; but when he cried to him, he heard.
Of you comes my praise in the great assembly. I will pay my vows before those who fear him.
The humble shall eat and be satisfied. They who seek after the Lord shall praise him. May your hearts live forever.
All the ends of the earth shall remember and turn to God.
—Psalm 22:23b-27a

Both Matthew and Mark record the opening line of Psalm 22 as having been uttered by Jesus on the cross. It is likely—I would even say probable—that Jesus finished praying this psalm, if not audibly, then in his heart. If this is the case, then the prayer was concluded not in doubt and dejection, but with an affirmation of faith. The one who began praying, My God, my God, why have you forsaken me? ends in the knowledge that God's face is not hidden from the afflicted, and that this fact isn't just a promise to the Crucified One, but to all who are poor.

In his birth in a stable, in his life as a homeless preacher, and in his execution as a criminal, I need to see that Jesus identified with the poor and the rejected. Here I am also reminded that Christ's victory over the forces of death are also the victory of the least among us, who "shall eat and be satisfied."

In my remembrance of the passion of my Lord this year, may my faith be complete—not just because I know God loves me, but because that faith must also reach out with the arms of Christ to those I might otherwise ignore.

I do seek you, Lord. May I also praise you—not as a personal Lord and Savior only, but as the One who in life, death, and victory identify with the poor, the humble, the criminal, and the rejected. I pray in his Name who taught me to pray: Our Father...

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