Several times each week I walk north or south from our house on one errand or another. Along the way I frequently meet various persons who ask for money. Some of these are Streetwise vendors like Murry and Leo whom I have come to know. Others ask for bus fare or lunch money. Sometimes I encounter anger or despair. Occasionally I meet someone scraping together enough cash to buy a few groceries for his family. For a while I thought of these people as a “bother,” an “inconvenience” to get past. Then I started looking into their eyes and listening to their stories. Finally I began to carry some quarters and dollar bills in my pocket…even at the risk of being “taken.”

The woman in today’s gospel holds up the reality of grinding poverty and daily need. And she brings home this line from today’s gospel: “Listen to what the corrupt judge has to say. Will not God then do justice to his chosen who call out to him day and night?”

Jesus reminds us that “the poor you will always have with you.” How might I respond this weekend?

—The Jesuit Prayer Team