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February 17, 2019 Featured

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book PNG2112Gospel: Luke 6:17, 20-26
Coming down the hill with them, Jesus stood in an open plain. Many of his disciples were there, and a large crowd of people, who had come from all parts of Judea and Jerusalem, and from the coastal cities of Tyre and Sidon. Then, looking at his disciples, Jesus said, “Fortunate are you who are poor, for 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 the 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 the people treated the false prophets.

Lectio Divina
Jeremiah contrasts those who “trust in men” with those who trust in God the latter, like a tree planted by the water. For Christians, according to Paul, that means trusting in Christ’s resurrec­tion. Jesus also contrasts those who put their trust in worldly wisdom instead of in God’s promises.

REFLECT: A tree planted in dry land is an apt reference for those who seek happiness or fulfillment in the things of this world. Similarly, for those who seek success only in this life. Such, according to St. Paul, are “the most unfortu­nate of men.” They are plan­ting a tree amidst thistles, in parched desert land. Jesus instead blesses those who are poor, who hunger, who weep, who face insults and persecution. To follow Jesus is to enter an upside­down kingdom, where what was up is down; what seemed like solid ground is now over our heads; where what was dead is now alive!
PRAY: Lord, let us feast in hope, laugh and rejoice in your promises, and believe in the good news that Jesus is truly risen!
ACT: Think of an experience of success; think of an experience of failure? How would God’s perspective on these experiences differ from the judgment of “the world?”

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