Our Ministries
15 Feb

Sixth Sunday in Ordinary Time

Blessing or Woe

When we reflect on the Beatitudes, how do we feel? Are we encouraged or discouraged? Are we happy or sad?

Luke’s presentation of the Sermon on the Mount is sometimes referred to as the “Upside Down Kingdom” or “The Great Reversal.” The Beatitudes are often described as the “higher law”—higher than the Ten Commandments. What does that reversal or upside-down-ness teach us? How does it inform us about what to expect in the next life? Will it be bliss or woe?

The meaning of the word “beatitude” is a state of utmost bliss, supreme blessedness and exalted happiness. The meaning of the word “woe” is great sorrow, distress and desolation. Which do we choose?

The beatitudes tell us how to live on earth so that we can live forever in heaven. When we listen to and reflect on Luke’s gospel, we realize that we have choices to make. Do we seek blessing or woe?

Throughout Luke’s gospel, Jesus advocates for the lowly and critiques those who do not use their status and wealth wisely. 

Jeremiah challenges us with a contrast/comparison of the tree planted beside the water and the barren bush. Do we choose to place our trust in ourselves and human beings alone? Do we choose to place our trust in God? Blessed are they who hope in the Lord. May we sing that refrain with boldness and joy realizing that Jesus invites us in the words of Pope Francis  “to leave behind all that is passing, to be a source of reassurance to those around us, and to give freely to all those in need.”