Living the Beatitudes
Today’s gospel reading (Lk 6:17, 20-26) is about Jesus’ Sermon on the Plain as recorded by St. Luke. This is something significant because as the “Emmanuel,” Jesus is close to the people and comes down to their level. He does not consider himself part of the elite or the powerful class but one with the poor, the outcast and sinners. Jesus is one who understands their situation and he sees God’s presence and God’s kingdom slowly being realized in their midst.
Jesus taught about the great paradox of this life. He preaches about true “blessedness” and “woes;” in other words he shows us what true wealth is and who are the most miserable in this life. When we understand the point of view of Jesus, we are led to a spiritual awakening. Because only by living the values of the gospel can we really be blessed and we can truly be free.
In teaching us true blessedness, he is really condemning human greed and selfishness. He does not wish that the sole aim of our life is acquiring wealth, seeking comfort and filling up our survival needs. While we need to work hard to provide ourselves with what is necessary to live a dignified life, it is also important that we care for each other since we are a family.
Woe to us if we live our lives insulated from the cares and concerns of those of who suffer poverty and want. Living the beatitudes is a call to conversion. It challenges us to make right choices so as to make this world more caring and more loving.