Hearing the cry of the poor starts with desire and a few choices. If we recognize a desire to be more attentive to the poor and to grow in solidarity with them, then it is likely that this is a grace we have received. Many things may have happened to open us to this grace, but it is important to name it and welcome it. God has been offering us this grace for some time and perhaps is preparing us to receive it this Lent. If we don’t feel this desire, we can ask for it. We can ask our Lord to help us grow in a desire to better hear the cry of those most in need.
Who are the poor? Who are most in need? Who are pushed to the margins of neglect and powerlessness? It doesn’t take a great social analysis to come up with some immediate answers, locally in our own world and across the globe. Listening to the news is a beginning. Who is suffering? Who is tremendously burdened? Poverty doesn’t always make the news, but being sensitive to the stories we do hear is a place to start.