A reading from the gospel according to Luke 6:17, 20-26:
17 Jesus came down with the twelve and stood on a stretch of level ground
with a great crowd of his disciples and a large number of the people from all Judea and Jerusalem and the coastal region of Tyre and Sidon.
20 And raising his eyes toward his disciples he said: “Blessed are you who are poor, for the kingdom of God is yours.
21 Blessed are you who are now hungry, for you will be satisfied. Blessed are you who are now weeping, for you will laugh.
22 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.
23 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.
24 But woe to you who are rich, for you have received your consolation.
25 Woe to you who are filled now, for you will be hungry. Woe to you who laugh now, for you will grieve and weep.
26 Woe to you when all speak well of you, for their ancestors treated the false prophets in this way.”
Reflection: A new standard of living
When one is younger, the dream is to earn a college degree or even a doctorate degree, land a high paying job in a multinational company or own a profitable business and travel the world. As one grows older, the dream may have come true or it may have faded away. Whatever happens, the standard of this world which many of us is accustomed with is to be successful in the eyes of men and success here means accumulation of worldly goods.
In the gospel reading above, Jesus presents a totally different standard of living, in fact, the opposite of the world’s standard. He says that the poorer you are, the more blessings you will receive. When you are hungry and in grief, a great blessing is coming your way. On the other hand, if you are rich and laughing at the moment and when people speak well of you, your life is in trouble.
Indeed, the teachings of Jesus can only be described as radical. It turns upside down all that the world hold dear. That is why, some of the people who heard Him asked, “Who then can be saved?” and many of them left.
We must always remember that Jesus came for the last, the least and the lost. He came to bring glad tidings to the poor and freedom to the oppressed. He provided hope for the hopeless and taught the people the importance of faith. Then He asked them to be servant of all if they wanted to be the greatest. In short, He wants all of followers to be like Him and to walk in His path. That is the life that is truly blessed.