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».
Listening to this gospel, we find it difficult to apply it in daily life. Yet Luke tells us a truth, the the source of this teaching: reason through the knowledge of one's own identity. Why do we have to do them? Simply, since we are children of God, a God full of love and mercy, Jesus asks us to act with dignity, according to our own divine identity, an identity we inherited from the Lord's death and resurrection.
Jesus does not ask us to react to such a situation, but He invites us to be proactive and to have only God our Father as our only model to imitate. Since He is merciful, in this divine generosity that man finds his hope and is able to live his life. In this Gospel, Jesus invites us to participate in this divine generosity.
Action of the day : Be aware that you are God’s beloved child.
«Fortunate are you who are poor. Alas for you who have wealth»
Fr. Joaquim MESEGUER García
(Rubí, 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».