Catholic Bible Press
Catholic Bible Press
March 31, 2021
Wednesday of Holy Week
Whose Side Are We On?
For the LORD hears the poor,
and his own who are in bonds he spurns not.
Psalm 69:34

A great theme in Scripture is this: God is on the side of the poor. This was why God chose the lowly Israelites in the first place. It’s also at the heart of Mary’s Magnificat and Jesus’ Beatitudes. It is the reason behind the divine mandate to care for the poor, the widow and the stranger. But who are the poor?

The poor are the economically poor, yes. But the poor also include all who are at a distinct disadvantage in society due to race, age, gender, language, ill health, limited education, absence of opportunities or lack of power. If God is on their side, then shouldn’t we also be on their side? We do this through small but significant ways—such as volunteering, contributing financially, praying, staying informed on social justice issues and supporting legislation and candidates who are mindful of the poor.

Loving God, you hear the cries of the poor. Help me to be more attentive to those cries and to take loving action on their behalf.

- Sr. Melannie Svoboda, S.N.D.

Isaiah 50:4-9a • Psalm 69:8-10, 21-22, 31, 33-34 Matthew 26:14-25


March 31, 2021 at 05:23 PM

Sr. Melannie, thank you for your so very sincere and beautiful devotion. I saw your view as speaking with your heart and not politically. * This is Holy Week. It is a week when the Lord will grace us exceptionally to grow in holiness. Yet Holy Week may not be that special time of holiness unless we decide to carry the cross of being persecuted. This week the Lord may call us to give our backs to those who beat us and our cheeks to those who pluck our beards. Holy Week may be a time to turn the other cheek and not shield our faces "from insults and spitting". Holy Week is prime time to take up the cross of reconciliation and to reach out to the Judases in our lives who have persecuted and betrayed us. Holy Week is a time to reflect on the life and death of our lord Jesus Christ. God Bless our Living Faith Family and continued prayers for all.

March 31, 2021 at 01:36 PM

Hope this meditation doesn't get censored too: Prayers, Love and Hope for our culture, country and world, our and God's children, who are clearly suffering and scandalized, at our, yes our, hands. Deprivation of God's Love in our schools, killing infants and lying that it's Healthcare, and now forcing a perverted, sexfocused agenda whose ultimate victims are children, the young, the vulnerable, and of course, as usual, the poorest of the poor. Are we not like Judas and Peter too?

March 31, 2021 at 11:58 AM

This verse on my calendar by my desk stood out to me this week, "For what I received I passed on to you as of first importance that ***Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures ***that He was buried ***that He was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures!" 1 Corinthians 15:3-4 *******Surely, I need to know what is according to the Scriptures :-)

March 31, 2021 at 11:52 AM

Wow, I didn't read all the comments before doing my own reflections! *** It is life I share with you and life includes everyday events and politics (or whatever you call it: opinions, stands, positions, lessons, etc) is part of my everyday life! Please don't get confused social justice with Biblical justice.......Biblical Justice Vs Social Justice by Voddie Baucham

March 31, 2021 at 01:47 PM

Yes, we are to help the poor and be generous as there are many many Scriptural verses point us to doing so :-) Am I helping or keeping them from helping themselves? Give them fish or teach them how to fish? What is easier for me? Definitely giving money and fish for there is no personal contact :-( Do I think someone who is homeless and comes into soup kitchen wants food more than a conversation? What do they really need? Love??? Hmmm.......2 Thessalonians 3:7-10, "For you know that you ought to imitate us. We were not idle when we were with you. We never accepted food from anyone without paying for it. We worked hard day and night so we would not be a burden to any of you. We certainly had the right to ask you to feed us, but we wanted to give you an example to follow. Even while we were with you, we gave you this command: “Those unwilling to work will not get to eat.”"

March 31, 2021 at 11:27 AM

Amen, Sr. Melannie! "God is on the side of the poor!" *** Good question, "But who are the poor?" Let's put on God's glasses and see what He says in Matthew 5:3, "Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven." *** "What exactly does it mean to be poor in spirit, and why does being poor in spirit result in the kingdom of heaven? Why is “poor in spirit” something God wants us to be? Why would God want us to be “poor” at anything?" *** *** "To be poor in spirit is to recognize your utter spiritual bankruptcy before God. It is understanding that you have absolutely nothing of worth to offer God. Being poor in spirit is admitting that, because of your sin, you are completely destitute spiritually and can do nothing to deliver yourself from your dire situation. Jesus is saying that, no matter your status in life (Material rich or poor), you must recognize your spiritual poverty before you can come to God in faith to receive the Salvation He offers." *** Yes, Lord! I am blessed to be 'poor' in spirit because "His own who are in bonds He spurns not!" (Psalm 69:34b) *** "When Jesus says, “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven,” He is declaring that, before we can enter God’s kingdom, we must recognize the utter worthlessness of our own spiritual currency and the inability of our own works to save us!" *** Poor In Spirit by Nikki Mathis

March 31, 2021 at 11:08 AM

Judas. Living faith family if you ever get time read "I Judas " Taylor Caldwell. Another perspective of the villain of all times. Waiting for the truck to get food for distribution. I am still not a robot Ken

March 31, 2021 at 10:45 AM

Amen. Thank you Holy Father for this beautiful day and for this Gospel today. Thank you Lord Jesus Christ for my faith, my life and for my family. Thank you Holy Father, most of all, for your great sacrifice and for the opportunity of forgiveness and reconciliation. Please Lord Jesus Christ have mercy. Lord Jesus Christ, Son of the Living God, have mercy on me, a sinner. Praise to you Lord Jesus Christ, King of Endless Glory. Amen Father, in the name of Jesus Christ, we ask that you release your warrior angels and heavenly hosts. We decry and declare that they would take us off the enemies' radar and scramble the enemies frequencies (airwaves). Your Kingdom must come now. Your will must be done right now, as in the heavens, also on earth. Amen Saint Michael the Archangel, defend us in battle. Be our protection against the wickedness and snares of the devil. May God rebuke him, we humbly pray; and do thou, O Prince of the Heavenly Hosts - by the power of God - Cast into hell Satan and all evil spirts, who prowl about the world seeding the ruin of souls. Amen

March 31, 2021 at 08:52 AM

Maybe I am way off but when I think of Jesus asking us to feed the poor, I lean more towards feeding those poor in faith. The status of our lives here on earth means nothing if we are poor in faith and distant from our Lord. I believe I am asked to feed everyone around me with love and respect. I am asked to see everyone as loved and created by God, not anyone more or less then anyone else. Status of money, politics, even sinfulness can not be measured or judged in human terms, as we all are in Gods hands. It is those whos souls are in poverty that we need to feed.

March 31, 2021 at 10:28 AM

Yes, very true Elise, praying for those souls in poverty that we need to feed.

March 31, 2021 at 08:43 AM

Handed over for the love of us, is the meditation of the day in the Magnificat I reflect with everyday. Jesus suffered and died for us and our sins, this is true, but as he mentions in today's Gospel, that there is no greater love than to die for ones friends. But what is interesting, he call Judas the betrayer his friend, right before Judas leaves to betray Jesus. What Jesus is saying to each of us, there is no greater love than to give up your life for your enemies. We have it said before, what grace be upon us who loves/forgives those who love/forgives them. But how hard is it to love/forgive those who sin against us and treat us terrible. This is the lesson I take away today, to try to be better in showing my love/forgiveness to those who strike at me, with their words or show me in their actions against me. Let me be like Jesus and show love/forgiveness today. Dear Jesus, please hear our prayers today for our Living faith Family, for those who have no one to pray for them and for all of the souls in Purgatory, that they may see your face in Heaven today, we pray, Amen.

Maureen de la Rosa
March 31, 2021 at 10:33 AM

Yes, of course feeding the poor includes those who are poor in faith, but that should not be used as an excuse not to care for the material and monetary needs of the poor as well. Always we are to tend to those in need around us with the same extravagant love that the Father showers upon us.

March 31, 2021 at 08:19 AM


March 31, 2021 at 03:10 PM


March 31, 2021 at 08:17 AM

Through many dark hour I've been thinkin' about this That Jesus Christ Was betrayed by a kiss But I can't think for you You'll have to decide Whether Judas Iscariot Had God on his side. Bob Dylan

Sham Peter Narine Respond to comment
March 31, 2021 at 06:55 AM

Thanks Sr. Melannie for today's devotion. All of us in one way or another have experienced betrayal in our life. Jesus was betrayed by Judas. The amazing thing is that, unlike most of us, if we knew that we were going to be betrayed, or harmed, even if we do not take retaliatory action, we would at least take refuge and seek safety, but Jesus did none of these. Instead, he handed himself to his enemies. He did not escape or fight back. The truth is that Jesus came to a clear consciousness of God’s plan for him. Jesus was ready to do His Father’s will. Yet, the ultimate strength of the Lord lay in that he knew that god would be with him. Indeed, that was the source of his comfort and strength in remaining firm and strong even when betrayed by his chosen ones. Prayer for all the living faith family members. Have a blessed day everyone.

March 31, 2021 at 05:41 PM

Amen Sham Peter Narine. Thank you for sharing. You're right, although Jesus was betrayed by Judas, Jesus handed himself to his enemies and did not take retaliatory action, and did not take refuge and seek safety. He was obedient to God His Father and did His will. God Bless you.

March 31, 2021 at 08:36 AM

What?? God didn’t stop loving Judas. Judas chose to turn from God by his own free will.

March 31, 2021 at 08:33 AM

Sham Peter, thank you for your thoughts and light shared with us. You are so right in your words. Yes, we would seek comfort, we always do, everyday of our lives. But Jesus as you mentioned here in your great explanation, came to do his Fathers will, our God's will. Where are we, can we emulate Jesus today and be finally willing to do the Father's will in our own lives. Thank you Sham Peter, may God continue to shine his blessing upon you. Amen.

March 31, 2021 at 06:26 AM

God is not a favor of persons. If the poor do wickedly, they will be dealt with. If the rich do God's will, they will be blessed even more. God is for those that are oppressed for no reason. Being rich is not a curse. Job was rich and so was Abraham. Each had their trials too.

March 31, 2021 at 06:25 AM

Why did this need to become political?!? Social (in)Justice... Supporting legislators who support the poor?!? Race... really? Jesus taught us to love everyone dispite our differences, not to recognize them and treat people accordingly! Most leftist legislators "support" the poor by repeatedly/monthly giving to them without an end or goal. This kills human drive. Too often in this case, the people become the slave of the government! Jesus did not give to the same poor person over and over on a monthly basis. Be better than this.

March 31, 2021 at 09:23 AM

Amen to this. I never comment, but my first thought was “even this is becoming political?” Thank you for sharing your thoughts.

March 31, 2021 at 09:05 AM

Ken, your last sentence, made me chuckle, thank you, I needed that today, Amen.

March 31, 2021 at 08:57 AM

I’m sorry for sounding political on a spiritual reflection website. I think right now in our country with the political division that exists, especially among Catholics, it’s important to find common ground among us. Sister’s reflections are usually spot on. There is language in this country that is perhaps unintentionally undercover code language hinting that only liberals support the poor; conservatives don’t. I think Sister may have unfortunately touched on this code language when she wrote “staying informed on social justice issues and supporting legislation and candidates who are mindful of the poor.” I’m a conservative Catholic. I’ve worked in food pantries for many years, I am well-informed on social justice issues, I tithe 10% of my income to the Church and charities, I picket Planned Parenthood. ( Yes, the unborn are included in the poor.) What is needed in our country is an understanding that many conservatives fight and work for the poor too. It’s not a liberal principle nor conservative. It’s Christian.

March 31, 2021 at 08:43 AM

I feel the same way. Let’s talk about the greatest injustice of our time- ABORTION. This issue supersedes all other “social justice” issues because it is murder of the most innocent and vulnerable. As for candidates, let me simply say, if a candidate doesn’t care about the unborn, he/she certainly doesn’t care whether I live or die. It’s that simple, folks. Have a blessed day.

March 31, 2021 at 08:32 AM

Mike, Gregory, Sandy and the living faith family. Politics aside remember that we're all children of God. Good works will not get you into heaven anymore then excessive prayers. We must respect each other and try to live like Jesus. Feedmore today I get more from my clients than I give to them. Please pray for the souls in purgatory and the essential workers and their families and the souls who have no one to pray for them. Work for the Lord. The pay isn’t much, but the retirement plan is out of this world. Ken

March 31, 2021 at 07:57 AM

Amen to that Gregory! I felt the same way when I read the devotion today!

A God follower Respond to comment
March 31, 2021 at 04:16 AM

"If God is on their side, then shouldn’t we also be on their side? We do this through small but significant ways—such as volunteering, contributing financially, praying, staying informed on social justice issues and supporting legislation and candidates who are mindful of the poor." ~Absolutely, all these ways, and as for the latter...ask the Holy Spirit to not be led astray by those who appear as helping the poor but are actually using them to satisfy their own lusts, wealth, and power. We Pray to the Lord, in Jesus Holy Name. LHM, CHM, LHM.

March 31, 2021 at 08:39 AM

I too agree with your comment Gregory.

mike maze
March 31, 2021 at 08:13 AM

must be nice to be in such a position to think that way, your blessed but will dictate who is deserving of help, very Christian like Sandy!

mike maze
March 31, 2021 at 08:10 AM

comment above was addressed to Gregory!

mike maze
March 31, 2021 at 08:09 AM

Your perspective shows you have clearly missed the point of this devotion and Christ teachings on giving to the poor in general. Pretty presumptuous to believe your idea of charity with a bent toward right wing politics is "better." People like yourself are the problem and the solution is a change of heart toward true compassion for all. In fact it seems from your comment you have a bias against the marginalized for some weird reason hope that changes for all our sake!


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