Faith Daily | 8 September 2021
PRAYER of the DAY - PENTECOST APBA p579
you know us to be set in the midst
of so many and so great dangers
that by reason of the frailty of our nature
we cannot always stand upright:
grant to us such strength and protection
as may support us in all dangers
and carry us through all temptations;
through Jesus Christ our Lord.
GOSPEL for the Day: Luke 6: 20-26
20Then he looked up at his disciples and said: “Blessed are you who are poor, for yours is the kingdom of God. 21“Blessed are you who are hungry now, for you will be filled. “Blessed are you who weep now, for you will laugh. 22“Blessed are you when people hate you, and when they exclude you, revile you, and defame you on account of the Son of Man. 23Rejoice in that day and leap for joy, for surely your reward is great in heaven; for that is what their ancestors did to the prophets. 24“But woe to you who are rich, for you have received your consolation. 25“Woe to you who are full now, for you will be hungry. “Woe to you who are laughing now, for you will mourn and weep. 26“Woe to you when all speak well of you, for that is what their ancestors did to the false prophets.
GOSPEL Reflection: Contributed by: John Vickers
Another interesting passage with layers of complexity. Basically there are nine parts to this reading. There are four “blessed are you” categories and then four “”woe to you” , categories exactly juxtaposed . Poor – rich, hungry – full, weep –laugh, hated – spoken well of. The word “woe” has a number of meanings in the New Testament from damnation, to grief. In this instance the meaning is more the latter – “alas” than the former.
Jesus was not addressing the general population, but as stated “He lifted up His eyes upon His disciples” i.e. the true followers of Christ.
Jesus contrasts the suffering “now” with a glorious future in Heaven. Exactly in the middle of the text is the core of the message – “on account of the Son of Man.”
The passage is therefore not a blanket condemnation of those who are rich, or full or laugh or are well thought of – but rather a questioning of the motivation behind their circumstances, whether good or bad.
There are those who have been blessed during their lives on earth, without regard to the Son of Man – and they will be rewarded accordingly during their lives. They desired to be rich and consequently became so, and that was the consolation or reward they received on Earth. Others desired to be full, or laugh or be well liked and so too received their reward on Earth. What awaits later is less pleasant, because they did not live on account of the Son of Man, but did so selfishly. But those less fortunate, the poor etc. should rejoice because their reward will be given in Heaven, emphasised by the condition that they live their lives as disciples, on account of the Son of Man. Whatever your circumstance live it on account of Jesus, motivated by love as a true disciple, and your reward in Heaven will be fairly earned and given.
FINAL PRAYER: – Adapted by Rev’d Sandra from “Prayer for Christians Growing as One”
Parish for Parishes Harrington & Kavanagh. Columba Press
We thank you Lord for your gift of time.
With our trust in you, O Lord,
we look forward to the days and weeks
and months that lie ahead,
knowing that they will never fail
to reveal signs of your providence.
Rejoicing in you, O Lord,
we reach out to embrace all the moments
and occasions ahead, knowing that they
will ever surprise us with opportunities
for celebrating your salvation.
May times of happiness teach us
the depth of your love.
May times of adversity teach us
the reach of your loving care.
In all times may we bless you,
Father, Son and Holy Spirit,
in whom it is our destiny to live and love, forever. Amen.