Gospel Reflection 6th Sunday in Ordinary Time – Cycle C – Luke Luke 6: 17. 20-26    

The Beatitudes can be seen as alien to the moral objectives of today’s world. We who seek money and power, and who centralise our life around what we can afford, can find the beatitudes jarring. We know that Jesus says those words, but what do they mean to us, exactly? Are we, for example, expected to carry on as we were before but act like Christians only on screen or at Church?

These questions are as pertinent to us now as they were 2000 years ago. We know that living as part-time Christians is not an option; not, anyway, by the standards of Christ himself. In fact, in order to carry out the message held within the Beatitudes we must live a completely new life. As the saying goes, out with the old, in with the new. The beatitudes tend to turn our understanding on it’s head. Suddenly, it is the weak who are strong and it is the poor who are wealthy. As it is said elsewhere, the last shall be first and the first shall be last. At the very least, this should be a sobering view for us Christians to take. It should inspire us to live as Christ taught and to cast aside the works of the world with all of its money and power and desire for strength; and instead take up the works of God which are for no worldly reward. As monks, we seek greater Communion with God, closer Union with our creator. This is our reward. And as Saint Paul puts it: we are ready for  the world’s praise or blame.

Much of what drives us in 2022 is based on image. How we will appear to others can seem more important than reality. We see this with fake Instagram accounts, fake followers, fake articles, and overblown personal stories on social media, with the many filters on our phone cameras and the lengths we go to in order to get more followers. This way of living has seeped into our consciousness. The way of Christ is a different way in which we are asked to be humble and selfless, not in a rose-tinted capacity but in a real way, a way that can hurt us, away that in some capacity mirrors Jesus’s walk to Calvary. Just like with our phone filters, it is very easy to sentimentalise Christianity. There is no evidence to suggest that Jesus was sentimental. His message went to the core of our being, and today in the beatitudes he is asking us for some of the humility that he has shown when he died for our sins.

We have been asked to reappraise where we are in our faith path. Where we go from here is anyone’s guess. But with the Gospels as our signposts we have a wonderful opportunity to grow as disciples of Jesus and live as though within the beatitudes. This may be a difficult thing to attain but it is also possible. Jesus, who is perfectly human as well as perfectly divine, proved this to us with his example.


The Lord be with you.
And with your spirit
A reading from the holy Gospel according to Luke 6: 17. 20-26
Glory to you, O Lord.

Jesus came down with the twelve and stopped at a piece of level ground where there was a large gathering of his disciples with a great crowd of people from all parts of Judaea and from Jerusalem and from the coastal region of Tyre and Sidon who had come to hear him and to be cured of their diseases.

Then fixing his eyes on his disciples he said:
‘How happy are you who are poor: yours is the kingdom of God.
Happy you who are hungry now: you shall be satisfied.
Happy you who weep now: you shall laugh.
Happy are you when people hate you, drive you out, abuse you, denounce your name as criminal, on account of the Son of Man. Rejoice when that day comes and dance for joy, for then your reward will be great in heaven. This was the way their ancestors treated the prophets.

‘But alas for you who are rich: you are having your consolation now.
Alas for you who have your fill now: you shall go hungry.
Alas for you who laugh now: you shall mourn and weep.
Alas for you when the world speaks well of you! This was the way their ancestors treated the false prophets.’

The Gospel of the Lord
Praise to you, Lord Jesus Christ.