Tough Words from Our Lord
6 Sunday Ordinary Time-C
February 13, 2022
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 are very likely obtain a poor place in the world to come (which lasts forever). 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 this world do not last: they are temporary, in the end empty and meaningless without Christ. 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. The wise are those who spend their time preparing for when they get off the boat, not endlessly accumulating earthly riches, fame, power, and pleasure.
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 Oscars in 1955? Who were the richest men in the gilded age of the 1920s? They had it all for a brief while, but where are they now? How wealthy are they now that they are in the next world? Who even remembers most of them now? It all depends on what they did with what they had while they were on earth.