A reading from the gospel according to Luke 6:20-26
20 Raising his eyes toward his disciples Jesus 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 But 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: Blessings and Woes
To be blessed is to be in the favor of God who is our loving Father. In Him, there is peace and joy. His love is everlasting. On the other hand, to have woes means we are out of favor with God. Without Him, we are lost and we don’t have peace and joy. Instead, we live in darkness and in misery.
The gospel reading above tells us how to be blessed. It also tells us how not to be blessed and to have woes. The distinction is very clear and the choice is ours. To be blessed is to follow Jesus and to have woes is to follow the ways of the world.
Yet, many people, millions of them, continue to reject Jesus and commit themselves to worldly endeavors. The reason is very obvious. Most of us want the easy life. We want to enjoy without sacrifice. We want everything for ourselves without any form of sharing. On the other hand, Jesus has taught us to deny ourselves, take up our cross and follow the narrow path that leads to eternal life. In short, the world offers us temporary joy while Jesus invitation is for us to have eternal life.