Raising his eyes toward his disciples Jesus said:
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.
— Luke 6:20-26
The peace of the Lord be with you. Jesus tells his disciples today that life has both blessings and curses, but they may not be what we might think. Those times when we feel distressed — when we are helping others or dealing with difficult situations out of love for God and neighbor — are actually blessings. They are blessings because we are acting in the likeness of the triune God who always seeks the well being and healing of the other. Those moments when it appears we are in synch with public opinion — doing what the world expects from us, but are not truly in service to others — although favored, these times may actually be a curse.
Once again the ways of God are not intuitive, but require discernment. At the heart of what Jesus asks us today is what are the motivations for our actions? Are our actions for our glory of God or to boost the ego? Are our actions motivated by a desire to attract people so they may know the love of God or to attract attention to ourselves? Are our actions motivated by a desire to serve or to increase our sense of security? At the close of each day these might be questions to consider — not so we can become increasingly self critical, but that we grow in the love of God and neighbor. Have a blessed day. In the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Amen.