The first reading is from Sirach. I love the whole tone of the reading, something of the preferential option for the poor about it that really appeals to me. But an early line jumps out at me, jarringly, noting that the Lord is “not unduly partial toward the weak.”
I’m a little stunned: isn’t God unduly partial toward the weak? Shouldn’t God be unduly partial toward the weak?
Apparently not. And I suppose that’s just, given that Sirach tells us simply that the “one who serves God willingly is heard,” so being rich and powerful is not necessarily a barrier to being heard by God. But then this is still, after all, an Old Testament sentiment. Maybe I should be glad that it’s at least this partial to the lowly, before Christ comes and changes everything.
I especially enjoy the imagery of the prayer of the lowly piercing the clouds.