July 17

My Generosity Must Extend To All

Monday, July 17 Make justice your aim: redress the wronged, hear the orphan's plea, defend the widow. Isaiah 1: 17

Being widowed or orphaned is to be cut off from much of the normal societal interplay to which one was accustomed. Many widowed people tell me of the sadness they feel in no longer being included in gatherings of married friends with whom they used to spend such happy times.

When Isaiah challenged Israel to care for the orphan, the widow, and anyone wronged, Isaiah is speaking on behalf of all the brokenhearted, but particularly for those who no longer have any legal or societal claim for another's protection. For Isaiah, attending to the orphan and defending the widow were symbolic of God's special interest in all those who were unable to fill their own needs.

Fulfilling God's will, therefore, is less about carefully measuring what we owe God or others, and more about being certain that our generosity extends to all, including those with no legal claim on our care.

Jesus, help me respond generously to others' pleas.

Fr. James Krings

Isaiah 1:10-17 9 Psalm 50:8-9,16-17, 21, 23 Matthew 10:34--11:1