If you prefer to use your own Bible, the readings are: First Reading: Colossians 3: 1-11 Responsorial: Psalm 145: 2-3, 10-11, 12-13 AB Gospel: Luke 6: 20-26
Our reflection on Wednesday’s readings: “Blessed are you who are poor . . . Blessed are you who are hungry . . . Blessed are you who are weeping . . . Blessed are you when people hate you, and when they exclude and insult you.” Luke 6: 20-22
It wasn’t many years ago that I would read this scripture from Luke and cringe. Who wants to be poor, hungry, or crying so that God will bless us? Who wants to be hated, excluded and insulted for a blessing?
There were ways to put a spin on these words to make them more palatable. Maybe Jesus was referring to being poor in spirit. Or, hungry for God. Maybe being hated, excluded and insulted for the Lord was what it meant for martyrs in the early church or today in some parts of the world. We don’t really have that problem in the U.S. Christians aren’t rounded up and beheaded or tortured to death and strung up in the town square.
So what did Jesus mean? Are the poor, hungry or grieving people more greatly blessed? Jesus continues speaking of the woes to those who have everything. How does this fit with the rest of the Sermon? How does this fit with Jesus’ ministry and declaration that the greatest commandment is to love God with all our hearts and love others as God loves us?
I think it fits perfectly. Unless our hearts can empathize and understand the pain of poverty and hunger, unless we can feel the anguish of those who weep, unless we can love others enough to include those filled with hate, we cannot truly love others and be blessed.
I believe Jesus is calling us to live the love of Christ, for that is what it means to be Christian. To follow Christ, examine our hearts at every turn and choose to love.
May the Blessing of Christ be Upon You! Ruth Mytty