Sunday Gospel reflections: The challenge of the beatitudes

Sixth Sunday in Ordinary Time

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For many, the greatest difficulty in living a way a life resembling that of our Savior is the beatitudes. This core element of Christ’s teachings not only lauds those who suffer and are hated for their virtue, but also admonishes those who cling to wealth, who seek only pleasure in life, and who subsist on the adulations of others.

In the time of Jesus, these criticisms would especially be pointed toward the most upper classes, the elites who did nothing to help those below them. Yet as time as progressed, and far more people now enjoy such comfort and splendor than ever before, this warning not to live in such comfort seems more difficult. It is easy to ask a few to conform to the mediocrity of others, it is much harder to ask so many to emulate those few who properly adhere to the path of the Lord.

We should not let our desire for conformism, to aspire to greatness as so many around us do, to distract us from the truly blessed life. Difficult as it might be in a world so awash with decadence, excess, and endless distraction, we must stay focused and reject that which distracts us from the path of righteousness. Woe to those who are lost in desire, blessed are those who are content with simplicity.

—Sean Sullivan


Readings:

Jeremiah 17:5–8

Psalm 1:1–2, 3, 4 and 6

1 Corinthians 15:12, 16–20

Luke 6:17, 20–26

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