“Then, raising His eyes to His disciples, [Jesus] said: ‘Blest are you poor; the reign of God is yours.’ ” –Luke 6:20
Mass Readings: September 7
First: 1 Corinthians 7:25-31; Resp: Psalm 45:11-17; Gospel: Luke 6:20-26
Because “the Beatitudes are at the heart of Jesus’ preaching” (Catechism, 1716), they are extremely important and therefore are vehemently opposed by the devil. Because the Beatitudes are “paradoxical promises” (1717), which “confront us with decisive choices concerning earthly goods” (1728), we naturally resist living the Beatitudes. Because the world, the flesh, and the devil hate the Beatitudes, they put extreme pressure on us to keep us from living the Beatitudes.
Luke foresaw this battle surrounding the Beatitudes. So he helps us obey the Beatitudes by:
- focusing on four of them. If we obey these four Beatitudes, we will also do the rest, which are named in Matthew’s gospel.
- addressing the Beatitudes directly to us. Matthew’s Beatitudes are addressed to “them”; Luke’s are addressed to “you” (cf Mt 5:3ff with Lk 6:20ff).
- omitting the nuances of Matthew’s Beatitudes, because we are tempted to turn nuances into loopholes.
indicating that, if we don’t do the Beatitudes, we will be cursed (see Lk 6:24-26).
Luke challenges us to live the Beatitudes no matter what. May we accept God’s grace to do so.
PRAYER: Father, by Your grace I will live the Beatitudes, even if it kills me.
PROMISE: “The world as we know it is passing away.” –1 Cor 7:31
PRAISE: Cynthia experienced a new outpouring of God’s grace when she chose to use her words to encourage others rather than to gossip about others.