“Blessed are they who hope in the Lord.”
Corinthians 15:12, 16-20
Luke 6:17, 20-26
by Sister Maureen Niedermeyer, OSB
Trust in the Lord brings happiness and peace. This confidence is expectant hope which involves one’s whole life - holding fast through every trial in the one who calls himself “I Am.” We can take refuge in the God of love and place our whole life in his loving presence with us. In contrast another person relies on his own strength and so is weak and fragile. Today’s readings call us to consider the real blessings of our lives and that we often take for granted. Try making a list of blessings in your life - it will be a very long list!
St. Paul speaks of the basis for our assurance to eternal life. We can all remember attending many funerals, joining in the grief, for a person has died. My Mother shared her thoughts with me when my Dad died suddenly. “My heart feels broken and I will miss Dad terribly, but I know I will see Dad again someday. Jesus promised us eternal life and I believe this.” How blest we are to be comforted by Jesus’ words.
The Beatitudes challenge our understanding of blessedness, but they can also be difficult to interpret. Jesus is not suggesting that those who are poor or hungry should be satisfied with their lives because eventually they will be happy. Rather, Jesus is saying the values of God’s reign are in conflict with those of society. Just before this passage begins, we read of Jesus spending time in prayer, then choosing his apostles. How often Jesus retires to pray before significant events. Prayer time deepened the relationship with his Father. Then strengthened and empowered, He faces the crowd with the message of the Beatitudes: “Blessed are you”, He says. How many of the beatitudes are a part of our lives? When we die, we want to hear Jesus say to us: “Rejoice and leap for joy on that day!” Some will rejoice and others will hear a woe. The choice is up to each of us.
From the Rule of St. Benedict
“If we wish to dwell in God’s tent, we will never arrive unless we run there by doing good deeds.” Prologue vs. 22
“Rejoice and be glad; your reward will be great in heaven.” Luke 6:23ab