Carry the gospel with you

Posted in christian, Christianity, inspirational, religion, scripture by Mike on September 7, 2011

Gospel reading of the day:

Luke 6:20-26

Raising his eyes toward his disciples Jesus said:

“Blessed are you who are poor, for the Kingdom of God is yours. Blessed are you who are now hungry, for you will be satisfied. Blessed are you who are now weeping, for you will laugh. Blessed are you when people hate you, and when they exclude and insult you, and denounce your name as evil on account of the Son of Man.

“Rejoice and leap for joy on that day! Behold, your reward will be great in heaven. For their ancestors treated the prophets in the same way.

“But woe to you who are rich, for you have received your consolation. But woe to you who are filled now, for you will be hungry. Woe to you who laugh now, for you will grieve and weep. Woe to you when all speak well of you, for their ancestors treated the false prophets in this way.”

Reflection on the gospel reading: The passage we read today from Luke’s gospel commences the Sermon on the Plain. It is a shorter but roughly parallel list of sayings with material comparable to Matthew’s Sermon on the Mount. Like the Sermon on the Mount, the Sermon on the Plain begins with the Beatitudes, but while Matthew offers us eight Beatitudes, Luke gives only four but complements these Beatitudes with four woes.

Luke’s gospel is the gospel of material poverty, and the Beatitudes in Luke reflect this. Jesus in Luke tells the poor to rejoice for their condition, not just because of the blessings that God gives to them because they are poor people but also because the rich have had their reward.

We Americans live in a country that has been immensely blessed. Those of us who live in the middle class may not feel rich, but if we have a little money in a bank account and a jar somewhere in our houses filled with coins, we actually have much more than most of the people of the earth. It is easy to dismiss what we read here in this passage and cling to the notion of spiritual poverty, but I think it should fill us with dread caution to remember how much we have been given and what is demanded of those who have been given much.

marekSaint of the day: Marek Krizin was a martyr of Hungary, sometimes called Mark Crisin. He was born into a famed Croat family and studied at the Germanicum in Rome. Ordained, he returned to Hungary and became a canon at Esztergom. He was assigned to missionary work near Kosice, Slovakia, with two Jesuits – Hungarian Stephen Pongracz and Melchior Grodecz, a Czech. In 1619 they were taken prisoner by invading Calvinist troops under George Racoczk. Tortured, Marek and his companions were martyred.

Spiritual reading: Our Lord sends neither angels nor ministers to assure us of his love; he comes in person. Love will have no go-between. (The Real Presence: Eucharistic Meditations by St. Peter Julian Eymard)

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