The Gospel Today
Wednesday of the Twenty-third Week in Ordinary Time
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.”
Today’s Gospel tells us of who are the “blessed” ones in the Kingdom. Contrary to the worldly notion and criteria of greatness – career, possessions, money to name a few; the great ones in God’s kingdom are actually the lowly, the unpopular, the sorrowful, and the poor because they have a special place in God’s heart.
This makes me ponder on my own poverty before the Lord. Now that I have decided to follow Him more closely by entering formation in the diocesan priesthood, I could say, that I have become materially poor – with no salary and money of my own. But it is in my being poor that I experienced the over-flowing of God’s providence and generosity – through those people who are accompanying me in my formation through their financial, spiritual, and emotional support.
It is also a humbling experience that I am now receiving help from other people – just as what I was doing before. Before, I would extend my help to those who are in need. Now, I am the one receiving help from others. There was this reversal of roles and the discomfort was experienced only in the beginning. For later on, as I become acquainted with my own poverty, and has totally relied on God’s providence, I become to be more accepting of my own limitations, that I cannot totally be self-sufficient. There is always this need to ask help from others and to connect with them. The Church in itself is a community of persons, and an encounter with each member of the community provides members opportunities for their personal sanctification.
It is my wish that my encounter with the poor and the helpless always lead me to an encounter with Christ, who have a special love and preference for the poor and the marginalized.
By whose standards do you live by?