Tough Words from Our Lord
6th Sunday Ordinary Time
February 17, 2019
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 renounce 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 this way.
Our eternal future is in so many ways an inverse of the present age. So very many, having never read the instruction book of life (the Bible), let alone listen to the church, go off with so many others chasing after nothing but riches, fame, and pleasure. But what the world offers us when we pile up wealth and fame and pleasure as false gods to the exclusion of faith and good works is, in fact, chasing after fool’s gold and very likely a poor place in the world to come. The world promises us many things of little value and so many spend their whole lives chasing them; Christ offers riches and wealth beyond all imagining, forever, but he hides himself so that he might appear poor, so that we will make a choice for him out of love and not simply for what he wants to give us!
The things of the world are, in the end, empty and meaningless. For we are all on a boat. As we disembark, we leave all of our accumulated wealth and earthly glory behind and are rewarded for what we did with what we had received while on the cruise!
When touring ancient Roman sites, one comes across names engraved in stone of famous leaders and winners of the Olympics from thousands of years ago. Who remembers them now? Power, popularity, glory: all are gone in an instant. Who was Miss America in 1974? Who won the Oscars in 1955? Who were the richest men in the gilded age of the 1920’s? They had it all for a brief while, but where are they now? How wealthy are they now? It all depends on what they did with what they had.