Wednesday in the Twenty-Third Week of Ordinary Time

Scripture Readings: 1 Cor 7:25-31; Lk 6:20-26  

Jesus not only teaches us the way to life, he also shows us the way by his example.  He said, “Blessed are you poor, who hunger and thirst, who weep and are hated now for the Kingdom of heaven is yours.”

See how literally Jesus fulfilled these four Beatitudes when he was crucified.  He died naked, in complete poverty.  He died in hunger and thirst.  He wept as one forsaken, abandoned by God.  He was hated and blasphemed, scourged, crowned with thorns, mocked, slapped and spit upon, betrayed and deserted by his disciples.

In all this suffering Jesus, by his own words, was blessed, rejoicing and leaping for joy, because, as he said to the good thief, “This day you will be with me in Paradise.”

At first sight the Beatitudes seem to turn everything upside down. Poverty is a blessing and riches are a woe.  But at second sight, we realize the Beatitudes turn everything right side up. The proud are brought low, the lowly are lifted up, crooked ways are made straight, and the Kingdom of God is revealed, a Kingdom of eternal Beatitude where there will be no more poverty, hunger, weeping or hatred, but a new heaven and a new earth!  Because of the Beatitudes we have the gift of hope to save us from despair.





Wednesday in the Twenty-Third Week of Ordinary Time

[Scripture Readings: Col 3:1-11; Lk 6:20-26 ]

Snoopy In his commentary on the Beatitudes, William Barclay writes, “O the sheer happiness of knowing Jesus Christ; O the bliss of being a Christian!”1

In a Peanuts comic strip Lucy asks Charlie Brown if he has ever known someone who was truly happy. Before she could finish speaking, Snoopy comes dancing across the scene, his nose high in the air and his face radiant with happiness. After he dances and bounces away, Lucy, the skeptic, rephrases her question: “Have you ever known anyone who was truly happy and still in their right mind?”

After two thousand years of Christianity, illusions about happiness still abound. One person said, “I've been rich and I've been poor. But rich is better.” And a billionaire tells us, “Money can't buy happiness, but it helps.” And Voltaire, the French philosopher of the Enlightenment, teaches that, “Pleasure is the goal of all rational creatures.”

But Jesus says, “Blessed are you poor, you who are hungry, you who weep, you who are hated on account of the Son of Man. Rejoice and leap for joy. For behold you reward is great in heaven.” We are not out of our minds, we are just in love with God and Jesus is calling us to see the Father.