Sixth Sunday in Ordinary Time


Jesus stood on a level place where a crowd of his disciples and a large crowd of people from all Judea and Jerusalem and the coast of Tyre and Sidon were gathered. Raising his eyes toward his disciples, he said, “Blessed are you poor because yours is the kingdom of God. Blessed are you who are hungering now because you will be filled. Blessed are you who are weeping now because you will laugh. Blessed are you when people hate you, exclude you, insult you, and throw out your name as evil because of the Son of Man. Rejoice on that day and leap for joy, for your reward will be great in heaven. This is how people treated the prophets.” – Luke 6.17, 20-22
Today’s gospel reading is the beginning of what is often called the Sermon on the Plain. We find a parallel to this passage in Matthew 5:1-7,11 which is called the Sermon on the Mount. As these titles suggest, there are differences and similarities between these gospel readings.
The world that Jesus envisions redefines poverty and abundance. He invites us to leave the world of abundance and invites us to enter the world of justice, to care for and lift up those who are poor, hungering, and weeping now. Our true inheritance from Jesus is a world in which we gather every person in, where we honor all, and waste no one or nothing.
I was on a retreat one summer and the theme of the retreat was the Beatitudes.  I remember that the retreat director kept referring to them as Be-Attitudes – attitudes of being.  It was an interesting idea to spend time reflecting on.  Every time I hear this gospel, I always recall that retreat with great fondness.  In the beatitudes Jesus envisions everyday life transformed. He challenges us to remake our world, to live out the promise of his love through re-thinking how we understand security, comfort, charity, and justice. He challenges us to leave the world of complacency.  In embracing this new life, we need to have hope and trust in God’s strength and abiding love.  We are called to be open to God’s grace and reshape our priorities.
Take some time to think about what concrete actions can you do this week to live the Beatitudes as Be-Attitudes – attitudes of being.