1 Cor 15:12, 16-20
Lk 6:17, 20-26
Trust in God
Both the first and second readings remind us that it is foolish to place our trust in anyone or anything but God. “Thus says the LORD: Cursed is the one who trusts in human beings, who seeks his strength in flesh, whose heart turns away from the LORD.”
When we hear the words of the gospel for Sunday we are challenged to place our trust in God who teaches us the beatitudes as a way to be a committed follower. Most of us are familiar with the beatitudes from the Gospel of Matthew that are part of Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount. Today we hear Luke’s version from a section of his gospel called the Sermon on the Plain. This is not the only difference.
In Matthew Jesus speaks from a small mountain reminiscent of Moses speaking the commandments as the voice and authority of God. Luke’s Jesus speaks from level ground with the disciples and the crowd around him. Jesus is God among us. In Matthew Jesus speaks to the crowd, but in Luke Jesus speaks directly and personally to his disciples, even though there is a crowd around them. In Matthew there are eight beatitudes and in Luke only four with four accompanying warnings or woes.
Luke’s beatitudes are often called a gospel of reversals. He tells us, “Blessed are you who are poor, for the kingdom of God is yours.” His first “woe” or warning states, “But woe to you who are rich, for you have received your consolation.” Riches, possessions, reputation are not things that we can depend upon as sources of eternal happiness. That comes only when we truly trust God and our relationship with God. This is because the teachings in the beatitudes show Jesus as the God of reversals. In our society the rich are seen as blessed, but in the eyes of Jesus it is the poor and needy, the disenfranchised of our society who are looked upon with compassion and love. it is because of our faith and love of the God we are blessed, but we have to admit that we are needy, that we need God’s blessings every day of our lives. We are called to trust in our loving and compassionate God who asks us to live the beatitudes in our lives.
Read and reflect on the beatitudes from Luke’s gospel. Make them your own and try to honestly live then each day — with great trust in God.
“Blessed are you who are poor,
for the kingdom of God is yours.
Blessed are you who are now hungry,
for you will be satisfied.
Blessed are you who are now weeping,
for you will laugh.
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.
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.
But woe to you who are rich,
for you have received your consolation.
Woe to you who are filled now,
for you will be hungry.
Woe to you who laugh now,
for you will grieve and weep.
Woe to you when all speak well of you,
for their ancestors treated the false
prophets in this way.”
Which beatitude/woe do you find the hardest to live out in your life?
In what ways do you deepen your trust in God?