Today’s readings teach us true happiness lies in the awareness of who we are and of what we are supposed to do. They remind us we are all children of a loving Heavenly Father and we will be happy in this world and in heaven only when we share our blessings with our brothers and sisters in need. It is our duty to work for uplifting them, declaring our “option for the poor,” as Jesus did.
The eight beatitudes Jesus gives in Matthew and the four in Luke contradict the ideas of real happiness sought in our modern society, according to which wealth, health, power, and influence are the true beatitudes. In today’s gospel, Jesus instructs his disciples in the paradoxical blessedness of poverty, hunger, sorrow, and persecution because they contradict our natural expectations in every way.
Blessed are those who are poor, hungry, weeping, hated, excluded, insulted and denounced because, in poverty, we recognize God ’s reign; in hunger, his providence; in sorrow, true happiness; and in persecution, true joy. The beatitudes are commands for how we should live, and what we should do.
What makes one blessed is not simply poverty, hunger, sadness or suffering for faith, but living these in the context of our commitment to Jesus and his spirit of sharing. Therefore, let us remember that each time we reach out to help the needy, the sick and the oppressed, we share with them a foretaste of the promises of the beatitudes here and now.
Just as the apostles were called to minister to society’s untouchables, all Christians are called to minister to the untouchables; those who are discriminated against, as well as the marginalized in our modern society.
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St. Mary’s Catholic Church
1414 Gorrell Street
Greensboro, NC 27401
Monday through Friday
8:30 AM – 1:30 PM