23rd Week in Ordinary Time
1st Reading: 1Cor 7:25-31
Brothers and sisters: In regard to virgins, I have no commandment from the Lord, but I give my opinion as one who by the Lord’s mercy is trustworthy. So this is what I think best because of the present distress: that it is a good thing for a person to remain as he is. Are you bound to a wife? Do not seek a separation. Are you free of a wife? Then do not look for a wife. If you marry, however, you do not sin, nor does an unmarried woman sin if she marries; but such people will experience affliction in their earthly life, and I would like to spare you that. I tell you, brothers, the time is running out. From now on, let those having wives act as not having them, those weeping as not weeping, those rejoicing as not rejoicing, those buying as not owning, those using the world as not using it fully. For the world in its present form is passing away.
Gospel: Lk 6: 20-26
Raising his eyes toward his disciples Jesus said: “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 denounce 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. But 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 in this way.”
HOLD ON! In his sermon on the Plain, Jesus restores hope to the poor, the hungry, those who now weep, and those who suffer on account of the Son of Man. Being poor for instance would not be judged as a “blessed” state. But, Jesus sees it differently. The hope of life after death comforts the poor; the Kingdom of God is theirs. Having to suffer for the Gospel values is not an easy experience. Standing for the truth, for justice, for peace and reconciliation in the midst of people who think differently could entail a heavy prize. At times people lose their jobs for their insistence on the truth; lose their social status because they are fighting for justice; lose their respect for promoting peace and forgiveness. In these moments of suffering, the followers of Christ are consoled by their faith in Christ who is faithful to his promises.
Prayer: Lord, when we face difficulties and hardships on account of your name, grant us the strength never to give up.