Lifting up his eyes to his disciples, Jesus said, «Fortunate are you who are poor, the kingdom of God is yours. Fortunate are you who are hungry now, for you will be filled. Fortunate are you who weep now, for you will laugh. Fortunate are you when people hate you, when they reject you and insult you and number you among criminals, because of the Son of Man. Rejoice in that day and leap for joy, for a great reward is kept for you in heaven. Remember that is how the ancestors of this people treated the prophets.
»But alas for you who have wealth, for you have been comforted now. Alas for you who are full, for you will go hungry. Alas for you who laugh now, for you will mourn and weep. Alas for you when people speak well of you, for that is how the ancestors of these people treated the false prophets».
It’s important to understand today’s gospel with the eyes and teachings of Jesus than our own contemporary understanding of vocabularies. God created the world so that man uses them and glorify the Lord. Thus poverty that Jesus proposes, should never be reduced with material richness. It is in fact, our imagination of total independence, distancing ourselves from the eyes of the Creator. The more we depend and attach ourselves on these material richness, the poorer we will be in our humanity and charity. The more we are free from these material needs, the richer we will be in our humanity and charity, which will give us lot of inner joy and peace, by consequence, without even seeking for it, we will have them naturally within us in a permanent way. The material richness will give us certainly pleasures of this world, which are temporary in nature and can never satisfy us fully. The more we have them the more we will be thirsty and hunger for it.
Thus for our application, I would like to invite you all to become rich in our humanity and become poor materially to be blessed by the Lord. In our material poverty, we will discover for our surprise, the same material goodness in abundance with us, more than what we need, and we will be able to share these with others. This material poverty will help us to depend on the divine providence and discover in our personal life, how God does miracles, even in our material needs. This is not a call to laziness, rather faithfulness to the will of God. The person who doesn’t work, can never accomplish the will of God. God bless you all.
«Fortunate are you who are poor. Alas for you who have wealth»
Fr. Joaquim MESEGUER García
(Sant Quirze del Vallès, Barcelona, Spain)
Today, Jesus points out where the true happiness lies in our lives. In Luke's version, beatitudes are accompanied by painful wails for those who do not accept the message of salvation, but prefer to stick to a self-sufficient and selfish life. With the beatitudes and wails, Jesus applies the doctrine of the two paths: the path of life and the fact of death. There is not a third and neutral possibility: he who does not follow the path of life is heading for the path of death; who does not follow the light, lives in darkness.
«Fortunate are you who are poor, the Kingdom of God is yours!» (Lk 6:29). This beatitude is the basis of all the others, because who is poor will be able to get the Kingdom of God as a gift. He who is poor will realize he must be hungry and thirsty: not of material things, but of the Word of God; not of power, but of love and justice. Who is poor will be able to cry over the world's sufferings. Who is poor, will know that God is all his wealth and, because of that, the world will not understand him and will harass him.
«But alas for you who have wealth, for you have been comforted now!» (Lk 6:24). This wail is also the basis for all the others: because who is rich and self-sufficient, who does not know how to place his wealth at the service of others, he just confines himself to his own selfishness and works out his own misfortune. May God deliver us from the thirst of riches, from going after this world's promises and from placing our heart in material things; may God deliver us from taking any pleasure in human praise and adulation, for that would mean we have placed our heart in the world's glory rather than in the Glory of Jesus Christ. It will be profitable for us to remember what St. Basil said: «Whomever loves his neighbor as he loves himself should not have more than his neighbor does (…) then everyone will share their goods and spend them on themselves».