cry of the poor: “I have observed the misery of
my people who are in Egypt; I have heard their
cry on account of their taskmasters. Indeed, I
know their sufferings, and I have come down to
deliver them… so I will send you…” (
10). We also see how he is concerned for their
needs: “When the Israelites cried out to the Lord,
the Lord raised up for them a deliverer” (
If we, who are God’s means of hearing the poor,
turn deaf ears to this plea, we oppose the Fa-
ther’s will and his plan; that poor person “might
cry to the Lord against you, and you would incur
guilt” (
15:9). A lack of solidarity towards his
or her needs will directly affect our relationship
with God: “For if in bitterness of soul he calls
down a curse upon you, his Creator will hear his
prayer” (
4:6). The old question always re-
turns: “How does God’s love abide in anyone
who has the world’s goods, and sees a brother or
sister in need and yet refuses help?” (
1 Jn
Let us recall also how bluntly the apostle James
speaks of the cry of the oppressed: “The wages
of the labourers who mowed your fields, which
you kept back by fraud, cry out, and the cries of
the harvesters have reached the ears of the Lord
of hosts” (5:4).
188. The Church has realized that the need to
heed this plea is itself born of the liberating ac-
tion of grace within each of us, and thus it is not
a question of a mission reserved only to a few:
“The Church, guided by the Gospel of mercy
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