Saturday, February 16, 2019
SUNDAY, 6th SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME
February 17, 2019 – SUNDAY, 6th SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME
Jer 17: 5 – 8 / 1 Cor 15; 12, 16 – 20 / Lk 6: 17, 20 – 26
From the 1st Reading : Jer 17: 7 – 8
Blessed is the man who puts his trust in Yahweh and whose confidence is in him! He is like a tree planted by the water, sending out its roots towards the stream.
He has no fear when the heat comes, his leaves are always green; the year of drought is no problem and he can always bear fruit.
Gospel Reading : Lk 6: 17, 20 – 26
Coming down the hill with them, Jesus stood on a level place. Many of his disciples were there and a large crowd of people who had come from all parts of Judea and Jerusalem and from the coastal towns of Tyre and Sidon.
Then lifting up his eys to his disciples, he said, "Fortunate are those who are poor, the kingdom of heaven 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 the people treated the prophets.
"But alas for you who have wealth, for you have been comforted now. Alas for those 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."
To understand why Jesus calls "poor" people fortunate or blessed, we need to understand who Jesus had in mind, when he referred to the "poor" in his Sermon on the Mount.
Once a priest told me, "The beatitude doesn't make sense. The whole world is fighting poverty. And Jesus is saying, `Blessed are the poor!'"
Remember that when Jesus says "Blessed are you," he is not saying "God will bless you." When Jesus says "Blessed are you," he means you are blessed now. How fortunate you are!
How can the poor be fortunate? Here we must remember that when ancient Jews used the word "poor," they used it in a variety of ways and, therefore, in different senses than we use it today.
We use it to refer to someone who is destitute, like a beggar, or those, who live in the smoky mountain or sleep on the sidewalks. We use it to refer to someone, who has no material possession. This kind of poverty – material poverty – is not a good thing. It is the kind of poverty that is dehumanizing. It's an evil condition. It is the kind of thing that every Christian ought to be trying to eradicate from our society. That is why the Church and parishes have social action programs.
The poor could be those people who were without material possession, the destitute. They could also be without influence and power, the "marginalized."
Jesus refers to poor people as those who do not put their trust in wealth or power but in God: "Fortunate are those who are poor, the kingdom of heaven is yours." We might then re-word Jesus' statement this way: "Fortunate are they, who realize that they cannot depend and do not depend on the things of this world for happiness and put all their trust in God."
St. Augustine expressed the trust we should have in God in these words: "Trust the past to God's mercy, the present to his love, and the future to his providence." There is a saying that "Nothing happens to us that is not from God's love."
Today and this week, think about the many ways you can deepen your relationship with God by growing ever more trusting of him.
FINALLY, WE PRAY FOR ONE ANOTHER, FOR THOSE WHO HAVE ASKED OUR PRAYERS AND FOR THOSE WHO NEED OUR PRAYERS THE MOST.
Have a good day!
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