Blessings and Woes
Reflection on the Gospel of the Wednesday
Jesus was giving a series of blessings and curses just like the blessings for obedience and the curses/judgments for disobedience that God told Moses to give the Israelites. Jesus gave 4 blessings followed by 4 curses. Probably as some point out; this is Luke’s equivalent of Matthew’s Sermon on the Mount.
He promised/promises the poor that they will inherit the Kingdom of Heaven.
He promised/promises the hungry that they will be filled.
He promised/promises the sorrowful that they will become joyful.
He promised/promises those who are persecuted for following Him that they will be rewarded in heaven just as the prophets of God are rewarded.
He proclaimed the unpleasant reality (this according to Luke=curses) of the rich who allow poverty to increase without using their gifts of material wealth to comfort the poor and suffering.
They will have no “wealth” in eternity.
They may be full now, but they will be hungry for eternity.
They may experience joy (short lived experience based on materialist fulfilment) now, but they will suffer later beyond earthly existence, because joy will never be theirs.
They are like to those who persecuted God’s holy prophets.
Are these blessings and curses relevant to us today?
Absolutely. In one’s participation in the Sacrament of Reconcillation/Penance, these concerns should be a part of one’s examination of conscience.
Dear family in Christ, as we read the word of God and listen to the prompting of the Holy Spirit, the Beatitudes and Woes are given to us so that we are encouraged to live a life focused on the riches and rewards we will reap when we are in a relationship with God our Father, not only in heaven, but also now.
We have to correctly evaluate the purpose and responsibilities of material wealth God has gifted us. Are we using it for the good of all and the growth of God’s Kingdom or only to satisfy our cravings and worldly desires? We are called today to recognise how material possessions can lead to selfishness and an unwillingness to share. we are called to grow in generosity and sharing. Are we willing to give more than waiting to receive even though we have everything we need? Beatitudes and Woes are both an encouragement to action for justice and condemnation of inaction in the face of injustice. Let us stand together in the face of injustice with love and humility and let the world envy us for being happy and content in the Lord than in the riches of this world (thus proclaiming God’s reality to a blind world).
Lord help us to grow rich in sharing with humility, whatever you have blessed us with, for your glory, and our sanctification. Amen.