#MyMassTakeaway for the 6th Sunday in Ordinary Time.
Guys, Jesus is trying to provoke us with the Beatitudes.
Blessed are you who are poor,Luke 6:20-26
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.
The Beatitudes aren’t something that are supposed to make us feel good. They’re not comfortable or safe.
The Beatitudes are intentionally counter-intuitive. Their worth begins with their shock value.
Blessed are the poor? That doesn’t sound right. Blessed are the hungry and the weeping? I would have guessed the opposite.
Blessed are you when they hate you?
Hold up, Jesus.
That doesn’t sound like a blessing. Sounds like Jesus has got this backwards.
What will really make us happy?
The Beatitudes aren’t what we’d normally consider an “inspiring” sermon. They’re a brutal wake up call.
Jesus is reminding us of the hard truth.
You think money will make you happy? It’s not. You think food will do the trick? It won’t. You think that popularity is the key? Think again.
These things don’t last, and they don’t satisfy.
If we put our stock in them, we’re sure to be disappointed. Jesus warns us against this. Woe to you who are rich, full, happy, and popular. Woe to everyone who turns to earthly things to fulfill them.
It’s not that Jesus doesn’t want us to be happy, it’s that he desires for us a happiness that lasts.
No matter what we have in this life, it’s going to end in death. Jesus puts this in hard-to-swallow language that shocks us out of our complacency.
We can’t take our money, food, recreation, or even our friends with us.
Hope Isn’t For This Life
Paul points to this truth in his letter to the Corinthians:
If Christ has not been raised, your faith is vain;
you are still in your sins.
Then those who have fallen asleep in Christ have perished.
If for this life only we have hoped in Christ,
we are the most pitiable people of all.
1 Corinthians 15: 17-20
But now Christ has been raised from the dead,
the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep.
We don’t put our hope in Christ as some sort of magical genie who will give us good things in this life.
We put our hope in Christ’s Resurrection.
Our hope is for the things of heaven. We look ahead to our death, and beyond.
We’re all going to die. There’s no getting around it. And at that time, we let go of all our earthly blessings – including our body!
What do we have left?
If there’s no Resurrection, there’s no heaven waiting for us. And if that’s true, then nothing really matters.
But Jesus did rise from the dead. And by his Resurrection, he opened the gates of heaven to us.
If we let go of the earthly things we cling to, our hands will be free to reach for heaven. To seek the true blessings, the eternal blessings.
So today, we rejoice in our suffering, because it reminds us where our true happiness is. It’s not in food, money, or popularity. It’s not in earthly pleasure.
Our true happiness lies in our hope in heaven.
All that matters is Christ’s love for us, and ours for him.
Today, let the shock value of these readings sink in. Let it push you out of your comfort zone, and redirect your desire for happiness.
Today, seek Christ over all blessings of this life.
For there, you will find your true happiness.
#MyMassTakeaway is a community building hashtag. I encourage you to use it to share your thoughts about the Mass, Eucharist, and readings every Sunday.
Check out these reflections, and head over to Instagram to join!
Here’s my takeaway (in shortened form) over on Instagram!
Amy from Prayer Wine Chocolate shares her reflection on the beatitudes, and the thought that popped in her head:
“Blessed are the infertile.”
Amy’s story is one of complete trust in God in the midst of the cross.
This line from Jen and Logan’s takeaway really struck me today:
“Remember that God loves you more than anything, and he’s with you through all of the hard times.”
Today, Carissa reflects about praising Jesus in the storm. This can be so hard, right? But such an important part of the Christian faith.
“Just cling to Him, stay rooted, TRUST in Him! It will lead you to eternal joy!”
I always look forward to Amy’s reflections – but not because they’re “feel good.” I love them because they always hit me with a hard truth and challenge me to grow.
Amy starts with: “You will be laughed at. You will be persecuted. You will be misunderstood, rejected, and hated.”
But she reminds us: “Be willing to except the challenge of living as Christianity is meant to be lived.”
Anni’s story about living out the beatitudes really moved me. Are we courageous enough to do the difficult right thing?
“God doesn’t call us to comfort, my dear reader; rather, He calls us to greatness… through Him. So, don’t shy away from being bold, being brave, and being Catholic.”
I love this post that gives encouragement to Catholic military women.
“However, the Lord doesn’t promise us that service to Him will be easy. Yet, it will be rewarding. And, as we see in today’s readings – especially the Responsorial Psalm, ‘Blessed are they who hope in the Lord…'”
Ingrid’s reflection reminds us that it’s important to search for happiness in the right place. It’s okay to desire happiness – God placed that desire in each of our hearts! But we need to know happiness comes from Christ.
“The crazy search for happiness is truly useless if it’s not rooted in Christ.”
I love when something I read reminds me that I’m not perfect. Not because I want to beat myself up, but because it offers me an opportunity to grow.
“Pride sneaks into our lives so easily in small ways… and today’s readings show us that those who practice humility, who are poor, who suffer humiliation, and who weep, the kingdom of heaven shall be theirs.”
I’ve shared Ginny’s experience SO many times. Just when I feel about beat by the struggle of bringing kids to Mass, somebody comes forward with encouragement and a heart full of love for them.
I love that Ginny shares her story to encourage moms to keep bringing the kids to Mass!
“The truth is, my friend, your perception of your family is rarely reality. God – and pretty much the rest of your community – sees its beauty and truth.”
I love this reflection on the desire for happiness and perfection placed in our souls by God.
“It is truly a God-sized hole that only He is big enough to fill; and if you look to him, he will fill it.”
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