Sixth Sunday Year C
Poor, hungry, weeping and hated??? Strange blessings…
These words of Jesus are like a Zen Koan, a riddle meant to completely crack open the dualistic mind of a determined young monk seeking absolute truth. But Jesus’ riddles were addressed to more ordinary folks going through extraordinary stress. These sayings described reality for a growing population of Palestinian Jews who were being dispossessed because they could no longer afford to pay property taxes for Herod’s expansion of the Temple and for Rome’s expansion of the empire.
Young people today are being dispossessed of their vocational potential for consecrated life, priesthood, marriage and intentional single life due to the constant superficiality that taxes their time and resources. No wonder we’re so restless, poor, hungry, sad and alienated but we don’t often take the time to figure out why. The beatitudes of Jesus can help crack open our hearts to recognize what words we need to add to our inner narrative that will help us to experience the kingdom of God in the midst of our stress.
Lets take these four fierce sentences and ask ourselves what words need to be added to them in order for them to truly be complete Gospel sentences.
Blessed are you who are poor, —if your poverty awakens you to the absolute reality of God, which includes God’s poverty before human freedom, and if you willingly share in God’s poverty— then the kingdom of God is yours.
Blessed are you who are hungry now, —if your hunger for food awakens you to what true life really is, and that God also hungers for that life within us– then you will be satisfied.
Blessed are you who weep now, —if your grief for what has passed away leads you to know that which never passes away is within you– then you will laugh.
Blessed are you when people hate you, exclude you, revile you and defame you on account of the Son of Man, —if this social abuse leads you to live your life based on your true identity, God’s beloved– rejoice and leap for joy!
Take a little time and think of the place in your life right now where you hurt the most. Then compose your own concise and extended Beatitude saying for yourself. Then start to pray it into life.
By Mark Blom, OMI – Vocation Director OMI Lacombe Canada Province
Feel free to contact Fr. Mark for advice about discernment and vocation direction. He can meet with you by phone to conduct a short vocation assessment to help you find your way. Contact him at email@example.com to arrange for an appointment.