Daily Reflection for Wednesday, September 07 2022
Peace and Blessings, Friends, and Parishioners,
We encourage you to reflect on Wednesday’s readings at this link:
If you prefer to use your own Bible, the readings are:
First Reading: 1 Corinthians 7: 25-31
Responsorial: Psalm 45: 11-12, 14-15, 16-17
Gospel: Luke 6: 20-26
Our reflection on Wednesday’s readings:
“Blessed are you…” Luke 6: 20b
In Luke’s more condensed version of the Beatitudes, he uses the Greek word Makarios, which is translated to blessed but also means happy. Dr. Brant Pitre says that Jesus, the new Moses, is giving us a new law in the Beatitudes, a “higher commandment,” oriented toward the “kingdom of heaven.” This makes both versions of the Beatitudes a description of how to be happy while steering us to heaven. *
When reading this condensed list, I wondered what Jesus was trying to say. After all, what is wrong with being rich, having plenty to eat, laughing and enjoying yourself, or hearing someone say favorable things about you? They all seem to point to happiness, yet Jesus is cursing these very situations. What is he warning us about?
The Catechism of the Catholic Church, paragraph 1723, says that the Beatitudes are an invitation “to purify our heart of bad instincts and to seek the love of God above all else.” Bishop Robert Barron says that the Beatitudes call us to detach from these four areas to be free. ** It seems that Jesus is warning us of the danger inherent in viewing these earthly blessings as the center of our lives. I can relate to this as I have experienced times when desiring material goods, food/drink, pleasurable activities, and praise competed for being the center of my life.
Here are some questions that Bishop Barren offers us to consider. What activities do your energies revolve around or become your primary focus? Are there times when these activities create obligations that take precedence over God?
Our hearts can easily become divided. Quite craftily, something slips into the position of number one in our life and takes away our freedom and happiness. Listening to God daily in prayer, and the Sacraments of Reconciliation and Eucharist are there to help us seek God’s love above all else. When I seek this help, I can navigate changes in my life and the desires for other things from a different viewpoint, with God at the center.
Are there areas of your life that vie for first place over the love of God?
Blessings for the journey!