Sunday 6th in Ordinary time, year C, Lk 6,17; 20-26
Dear brothers and sisters, the first reading and today’s Gospel are quite clear for us. The constant challenge we all face between blessing and malediction announced by prophet Jeremiah and Jesus offers us two choices: life or death, blessing or woe.
The psalm is normally our answer for the reading saying “ Happy the man who hoped in the Lord.” What do we hope for in life? The answers to these questions reveal our future: not only in this life but also in the life to come. The things that we hope for in life make clear what we can hope to expect in our future. Saint Paul in the second reading preaches that the Christian hopes in the risen Lord. The Christian centres his life around the Death and Resurrection of Christ.
Today’s Gospel of St Luke is just the flowing passage in which Jesus chooses his disciples, the Twelve those who follow him. He addresses his disciples as poor, hungry, and weeping. The day when they choose Jesus and his way. They become poorer and more vulnerable. They will be hated, persecuted because of His name.
However, happy are you and rejoice for then your reward will be great in heaven. That is the Lord’s promise. We become to experience of the Kingdom of God, as we come to know the Lord’s strength in our weakness, the Lord’s life in our barren time. And the fulness of our experience of God’s Kingdom is in the life to come as Saint Paul said “If our hope in Christ has been for this life only, we are the most unfortunate of all people.”
Like the Beatitudes, Jesus assures the poor, the hungry, the bereaved, the despised…as those who will possess the Kingdom of God. It sounds similar to promises made by political candidates. All of them give us promises for a better future. Jesus, however, was not a political leader and we can be assured that He never makes an empty promise. How do we know this? It is because Jesus speaks the truth ALL the time. He can never contradict Himself. He cannot go against His nature for He IS the truth. All these promises are in the future time. And we think that it is too far. But Jesus said “For behold, the Kingdom of God is among you.” (Luke 17:21) - Fr Ricky
One of the beatitude is “ happy are the poor, theirs is Kingdom of heaven” Lk 6, and in St Mark is the poor in spirit, Mt 5,3. The poor or the poor in spirit is a happy one because they are poor inside. They need the spirit of the Lord. They give up everything to follow him and empty themselves to make a place for God, a place for God’s grace. It is not a selfish I who is self-sufficient.
Pope Francis said “The world says that in order to have happiness you must be rich, powerful, always young and strong, and enjoy fame and success. Jesus overturns these criteria and makes a prophetic proclamation – and this is the prophetic dimension of holiness – true fullness of life is achieved by following him, by putting his Word into practice.
Those who believe themselves to be rich, successful, and secure base everything on themselves and close themselves off from God and their brothers and sisters. While those who know that they are poor and not self-sufficient remain open to God and to their neighbour.”
The poor in spirit find joy which is not a fleeting emotion or a simple human optimism, but the certainty of being able to face every situation under God’s loving gaze, with the courage and strength that come from him.”
The only thing Jesus ever hoped for in life was to do the Will of His Father. The only thing we can hope for in our lives is the Will of our Father. At times, we find ourselves facing difficult choices. We don’t know where is our hope. But as we pray and ask God to guide us, we cannot expect God always to show us “the light”.
Jesus said, “ If anyone wants to be a follower of mine, let him renounce himself and take up the cross and follow me”. Pray, brothers and sisters that God help us to “empty ourselves”, and to fill us with His grace and his words.