Friday, April 13, 2018

The Lord as Our Refuge

In today's responsorial psalm, Psalm 27, we pray:  The Lord is my light and my salvation; whom should I fear? The Lord is my life's refuge; of whom should I be afraid?"

Yet we know that there is much to be feared for some in the world of today.  Many people are fleeing persecution--religious and other forms of persecution, beginning with children being bullied in school and on social media. People in many parts of the world are running for their lives from terrorist regimes, cruel actions on the part of their government officials. There are also those fleeing from domestic and street violence.  Some people plan escape possibilities from pimps and human traffickers while others try to stay safe from sexual assaults in the work place.  A person's refuge may be their car, a fast food restaurant, a homeless shelter, a church, a trusted neighbor's house or that of a relative, and, in some cases another country.

In the midst of these and other situations, we encounter men and women, young adults and children of incredible faith. I remember a little girl, about 9 years of age,  having fled from Isis and living in a refugee camp in the Middle East.  She was grateful and spoke of God's help shown her in camp-- a story on the news this past year.

From where does such strength come? From being taught to take refuge in the Lord. The darkness in this little girl's life was not dark to the Lord.  Nor so in our lives.  May all of us seek the Lord above all in whatever situation we find ourselves and teach our children to do the same.  May we live from the belief that we "shall see the bounty of the Lord in the land of the living." May we "wait for the Lord with courage [and] be stouthearted and wait for the Lord," as  we also pray in Psalm 27.

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