Ps 145:2-3, 10-11, 12-13ab
The Lord is compassionate
toward all his works.
23RD WEEK IN ORDINARY TIME
Psalter: Week 3 / (White)
St. Peter Claver, priest
1st Reading: Col 3:1-11
So then, if you are risen with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is seated at the right hand of God. Set your mind on the things that are above, not on earthly things. For you have died and your life is now hidden with Christ in God. When Christ, who is your life, reveals himself, you also will be revealed with him in glory.
Therefore, put to death what is earthly in your life, that is immorality, impurity, inordinate passions, wicked desires and greed which is a way of worshiping idols. These are the things that arouse the wrath of God.
For a time, you followed this way and lived in such disorders. Well then, reject all that: anger, evil intentions, malice; and let no abusive words be heard from your lips.
Do not lie to one another. You have been stripped of the old self and its way of thinking to put on the new, which is being renewed and is to reach perfect knowledge and the likeness of its creator. There is no room for distinction between Greek or Jew, circumcised or uncircumcised, barbarian, foreigner, slave or free, but Christ is all and in all.
Gospel: Lk 6:20-26
Then looking at his disciples, Jesus said,
Fortunate are you who are poor, the kingdom of God is yours.“
Fortunate are you who are hungry now, for you will be filled.
Fortunate are you who weep now, for you will laugh.
Fortunate are you when people hate you, when they reject you and insult you and number you among criminals, because of the Son of Man. Rejoice in that day and leap for joy, for a great reward is kept for you in heaven. Remember that is how the ancestors of this people treated the prophets.
But alas for you who have wealth, for you have been comforted now.
Alas for you who are full, for you will go hungry.
Alas for you who laugh now, for you will mourn and weep.
Alas for you when people speak well of you, for that is how the ancestors of these people treated the false prophets.
What is proclaimed by Jesus to be blessed state is not destitution, under-nourishment, illiteracy, under-development, indigence. On the contrary, Jesus considers such states as degrading for humans, something which must be eliminated at all costs: at the Last Judgment we will be judged precisely on the manner in which we will have worked to alleviate human misery (Mt 25), in accordance moreover with the exhortations and the example of the Church across the centuries. What is proclaimed blessed is the state of those who, having little, must usually trust in the Father’s providence (while of course doing their best to ensure by their work the minimum income for a decent living). It is the state of those who are not distracted from their situation of children of God promised to eternal bliss by a life filled with luxuries and thrills. At bottom, what is eminently conducive to availability for the Kingdom is the freedom of the poor. Because they experience the uncertainties of a laborious life and the ordinary hurts of life, the poor are aware that only another life in the hereafter can compensate the frustrations of this life and stake their thirst for happiness.
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