Transcript of audio:
In tough times, it is often the poor who suffer the most.
We see from this week's readings that this has always been true and, in the process, we are given an important lesson in empathy.
The widow in the first reading represents the poorest of the poor – she barely has enough to keep her family alive.
Yet when Elijah asks her for some water and bread, she does so willingly despite her own dire need. She has empathy for Elijah, who is on the run to avoid persecution. In turn, the prophet Elijah foretells that God will provide plenty of food for her and her family in the days ahead. And it was so.
Elijah, an Israelite, and the widow, a Phoenician, were as different as night and day. But when the going got tough, they had empathy in their hearts, put their differences aside, and helped each other.