February 17, 2019
(6th Sunday, Ordinary Time, C)
In Jesus’ Lukan beatitudes on the plain, with blessings followed by woes, 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.” Lk_6:17,20-26
If we can live this life, beloved, in such a way that it’s not just for the day, sucking out every possible good we can possibly take in, with no thought for tomorrow and no thought for the consequences of our selfishness. If we can live this life in total communion with God and our neighbor, giving to the sacrifice of our own self-indulgence, loving to the sacrifice of constantly feeling loved, and even patiently enduring infliction because of our beliefs. Then, as Jesus tells us, we will receive our reward. For the prophets endured the same afflictions. And Jesus tells us that they are very blessed!
And all of that doesn’t mean that we have to live self-inflicting lives. It just means that we prioritize giving over taking. We prioritize loving over hating. And we still appreciate, in humble thanksgiving, all the beauty and wonder and awesomeness God gives us through making those priorities.
You see, the reward of a smiling, fed, hungry person far outweighs any joy of eating we partake in ourselves. And the joy of getting a hug from a mourner, because we cared enough to care, far outweighs a selfish hug we give because we need it! And the joy of reward from having stood up for what we believe, even at the cost of insult and persecution, far outweighs any reward we may have imagined for having succumbed to betrayal for the sake of fear.
Blessed are YOU, beloved when you can be a blessing to others.
You are greatly in God’s favor!
And your Reward will be great!
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