GOSPEL – LUKE 6:17,20-26
Jesus came down with the twelve and stopped at a piece of level ground where there was a large gathering of his disciples with a great crowd of people from all parts of Judaea and from Jerusalem and from the coastal region of Tyre and Sidon who had come to hear him and to be cured of their diseases. Then fixing his eyes on his disciples he said: ‘How happy are you who are poor: yours is the Kingdom of God. Happy are you who are hungry now: you shall be satisfied. Happy you who weep now: you shall laugh, abuse you, denounce your name as criminal, on account of the Son of Man Rejoice when that day comes and dance for joy, for then your reward will be great in heaven. This was the way their ancestors treated the prophets. ‘But alas for you who are rich: you are having your consolation now. Alas for you who have your fill now: you shall go hungry. Alas for you who laugh now: you shall mourn and weep. ‘Alas for you when the world speaks well of you! This was the way their ancestors treated the false prophets.’
The Word of the Lord
GUIDELINES TO HELP US TO MEDITATE ON THE PASSAGE SO AS TO RECOGNIZE AND CELEBRATE GOD’S PRESENCE AND ACTIVITY IN OUR LIVES AND WORLD TODAY.
1.“There was a large gathering of people…who had come to hear him and be cured of their diseases”
Can you think of someone in your life who when you spend time with them always makes you feel better- more hopeful, more positive, more affirmed? Your dis-ease, (uneasiness, lack of peace) has been lifted just by being in their presence. We offer a prayer of thanksgiving for those who help us feel better about ourselves. May we be moved by their example to always offer a warm and welcome presence to everyone we meet.
2. “Happy are you who are poor… the kingdom of heaven is yours, who are hungry…you shall be satisfied, who weep…you shall laugh…”
Can you recognize individuals or families who by worldly standards seemed to have very little in terms of possessions, comforts, opportunities etc. and yet possessed something much more important: joy, happiness, well-being and contentment? Lord help us to discover that our true fulfilment in life comes not from what we have but from the kind of people we are.
3.“When people hate you…. on account of the Son of Man”
Can you think of people who having spoken up for the marginalised, or spoken out against injustice, were themselves subjected to hostility and rejection as a result? But their own personal suffering and how they bore it with dignity brought about a change in their society, country and changed the mindset of others who knew them. Lord give us the courage to speak the truth and live the truth even when it makes us unpopular.
4.“Alas for you who have your fill now”
We remember the prophetic voices at home and abroad who have reminded us that in order to bring about the world as God longs for it to be – a world were all God’s children have enough to eat, have a roof over their heads, necessary health care, the opportunity for an education, and employment, it means that those who have more than enough will have to radically simplify their lifestyle and share with their brothers and sisters. Lord help us to live simply so that others might simply live.