Dear Friend of Carmel Mission,
Today’s Gospel is a familiar one, the Beatitudes, but in Luke’s Gospel we have a slight change in venue from Matthew’s. Jesus is preaching down on the plain rather than up on the mount. The message, however, remains the same. It is a message of comfort and hope for the suffering, of reassurance that whatever we have to suffer in this lifetime, an eternity of peace and joy awaits us when we go home to God.
There is a joke that we can only be certain of two things in life, death and taxes. Unfortunately, we can also likely be certain that our lives will be touched with pain, with grief, and with loss. While it does not necessarily mitigate the experience of suffering, the knowledge that it is transitory, that our God is beside us and we are walking through our pain to the place of reward He has prepared for us can be a great consolation and source of strength.
In Luke’s Gospel Jesus continues on with what might seem like a harsh scare tactic. It might seem like He is saying that Heaven is the purview of the suffering alone. If we are not poor, hungry, weeping and hated we may be out of luck when it comes to entering God’s kingdom. But we know that God wants more than anything for us to grow, flourish, and be happy in this world and the next.
God is always working for our good. With Jesus’ words here Luke is addressing the affluent, complacent, self-satisfied Christians in his communities who were ignoring the need in their society to protect the vulnerable people Jesus is lifting up in the Beatitudes. There is more than one way to be poor, hungry and vilified. Sadly, we are all likely to experience poverty and scorn on some level. In His words today, Jesus is encouraging us to look out and care for one another so that we may hope for the same care and concern in return. He is proposing that we adopt a new set of attitudes – Beatitudes.
I wish you and your loved ones blessings of good health, renewed hope and great peace,
Please take a moment to read our Carmel Mission Weekly Bulletin.