Then he looked up at his disciples and said: “Blessed are you who are poor, for yours is the kingdom of God. “Blessed are you who are hungry now, for you will be filled. “Blessed are you who weep now, for you will laugh. “Blessed are you when people hate you, and when they exclude you, revile you, and defame you on account of the Son of Man. Rejoice in that day and leap for joy, for surely your reward is great in heaven; for that is what their ancestors did to the prophets.
“But woe to you who are rich, for you have received your consolation. “Woe to you who are full now, for you will be hungry. “Woe to you who are laughing now, for you will mourn and weep. “Woe to you when all speak well of you, for that is what their ancestors did to the false prophets.
New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989, by the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. USCCB approved.
The Gospel today can be paralleled with Matthew’s Sermon on the Mount. Except here, instead of concentrating on the spiritual trials, Luke is plainly defining the real, tangible woes of the poor. He mentions hunger, weeping, hatred, exclusion, defamation. It does not take long to search the news today and find mention of these same things building walls between people. Luke is inviting us today to wipe away tears, lessen the pains of hunger, speak out against hatred, work toward inclusion and build bridges of respect. Blessed are those who tangibly seek to change the world.
Where today can you work to create a piece of heaven here on earth for another person? Where today can you wipe away tears and celebrate the dignity of another?
—Gretchen Crowder is the Director of Campus Ministry at Jesuit College Preparatory School of Dallas and an adjunct faculty member at the University of Dallas.
Help me to see Your face in those I serve,
Your eyes through their eyes,
Your love through their actions.
Help them to see Your face in mine,
Your eyes through my eyes,
Your love through my actions.
—Jesuit College Preparatory School of Dallas Senior Service Prayer