We need to respond to the challenge of the Beatitudes in our daily life.

Posted in homily by frtonys on February 13, 2022

The beatitudes we here in today’s Gospel are not the beatitudes we are used to. They are not the nine beatitudes from the Gospel of Matthew. There are only four beatitudes. And these are followed by four woes. Today’s Gospel is from the Gospel of Luke, Instead of “Blessed are the poor in spirit for theirs is the Kingdom of heaven,” we hear, “Blessed are you who are poor, for yours is the Kingdom of God.” Luke is telling those who are poor, hungry, weeping, hated, excluded, insulted, and denounced that they are blessed. And he’s telling those who are not suffering, those who are rich, filled with food, laughing, and treated with respect that they will suffer.

What is this all about ?

Is it good to be poor? Should we throw away all our possessions and become beggars? Well, that can’t be what the Lord is saying. There are a few, only a few, saints, like Francis of Assisi  and Teresa of Calcutta (Mother Teresa) who freely choose the sufferings and hardships that poverty brings.

That is not what the Beatitude suggests, nor what Jesus asks of most of us. It is true that we are unable to eradicate poverty from the face of the earth. But we can help, either directly or by working with others for our poor brothers and sisters, to improve their living conditions and education.

Luke’s account offers the rich the Good News that their salvation lies in their concern for the poor and in the good stewardship of sharing their goods with others in need. But the rich among us remain cursed as long as they remain unwilling to share their surplus with the needy.

We need to respond to the challenge of the Beatitudes in our daily life. Millions are starving, persecuted, homeless, and leading hopeless lives. The only way the promises of the Beatitudes can become a reality for them is through the efforts of people like us.

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