They refuse to use it to help others ...

The wicked get buried alive by their loot because they refuse to use it to help others. If you stop your ears to the cries of the poor, your cries will go unheard, unanswered. The rich and the poor shake hands as equals — God made them both! The poor are always ruled over by the rich, so don’t borrow and put yourself under their power. Don’t walk on the poor just because they’re poor, and don’t use your position to crush the weak, Because God will come to their defense; the life you took, he’ll take from you and give back to them. -Proverbs 21:7,13; 22:2,7,22-23 MSG

From the very beginning man has faced the question "am I my brother's keeper?" Solomon seems to answer that question in these verses and frankly the topic makes me a bit uncomfortable. Of course our response to the needs of others might be how we care for them with our donations to homeless shelters and soup kitchens. We might also reply by saying that we pay taxes to care for the poorest among us. Yet I wonder if such thinking isolates us from the poor?

In the gospels Jesus called the poor, "the least of these", his family and commanded that we care for them. Yet somehow we do not think that it is necessary that we get our hands dirty with the business of visiting the inmate or the infirmed. Caring for the widow and orphan has somehow become another person's "ministry". God has given us all that we have and expects us to share it with his family - which is actually our family too. We are our brother's keeper.

Lord have mercy on we who are blind to the needs of the less fortunate. Make us compassionate. Help us love.

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