Sermon on the mount, E.Thor. Carlson
Jesus looked up at his disciples and said: "Blessed are you who are poor, for yours is the kingdom of God. Blessed are you who are hungry now, for you will be filled. Blessed are you who weep now, for you will laugh. Blessed are you when people hate you, and when they exclude you, revile you, and defame you on account of the Son of Man. Rejoice in that day and leap for joy, for surely your reward is great in heaven; for that is what their ancestors did to the prophets. But woe to you who are rich, for you have received your consolation. Woe to you who are full now, for you will be hungry. Woe to you who are laughing now, for you will mourn and weep. Woe to you when all speak well of you, for that is what their ancestors did to the false prophets. Lk 6:20-26
Luke said (in v. 17), “He came down and stopped at a piece of level ground.” From that point to the end of chapter 6 is therefore called ‘The Sermon on the Plain’, in contrast to Matthew’s ‘Sermon on the Mount’ (Mt 5-7). But it is the same sermon, with differences. In Luke’s gospel the mountain is a place of prayer or revelation; it is as if he doesn't want the crowds to go up there, so he brings Jesus down!
"He spent the night in prayer to God"
We cannot find God in noise or agitation.... In silence He listens to us; in silence He speaks to our souls. In silence we are granted the privilege of listening to His voice:
Silence of our eyes.
Silence of our ears.
Silence of our mouths.
Silence of our minds.
In the silence of the heart
God will speak.
A man with a withered hand is called forward by Jesus in the synagogue. “Stretch out your hand,” Jesus says and his hand was restored. By taking the part of himself in the greatest need of healing to Jesus, he was healed.
It is delightful, Dear Mary, to reflect upon your birth. We are so very accustomed to wishing people "Happy Birthday," but I don't think I've really taken the time to acknowledge your birthday in a personal way. I don't think I've stopped to thank God for the day you were born.
Is 35: 4-7a; Jm 2:1-5; Mk 7:31-37
Say to those whose hearts are frightened: Be strong, fear not! Here is your God, he comes with vindication; With divine recompense he comes to save you. Then will the eyes of the blind be opened, the ears of the deaf be cleared; Then will the lame leap like a stag, then the tongue of the dumb will sing. Streams will burst forth in the desert, and rivers in the steppe. The burning sands will become pools, and the thirsty ground, springs of water; The abode where jackals lurk will be a marsh for the reed and papyrus. Is 35: 4-7a
One of God’s attributes is “the liberator”. This is the attribute which this Sunday’s liturgical texts especially focus on. God frees all human beings from their sad condition of outcasts, and he frees nature from its barren dryness (First Reading). He frees us from illnesses of the heart and of the spirit, “everything he does is good, he makes the deaf hear and the mute speak”. «Effatha!» He frees the Christian from any distinctions of class, for whether we are rich or poor, we are all the same before God (Gospel).
1 Corinthians 4:1-5; Luke 5:33-39
Today’s gospel refers to problems associated with change. Jesus uses parables to teach about these problems, though his teaching is somewhat enigmatic. First, tearing a piece from a new cloak to patch an old one does seem silly. Other gospel writers record a slightly different parable, referring instead to a narrower problem of using unshrunken new cloth to patch an old garment, which causes the patch to tear away. (See Mark 2:21; Matthew 9:16). But Luke’s version points to the absurdity of ruining a new garment in order to patch an old one, when the patch will not even look right when it is completed – a doubly unsatisfying result.
"Put out into deep water and lower your nets for a catch"
The proclamation made by Peter and the Apostles does not merely consist of words: fidelity to Christ affects their whole lives, which are changed, given a new direction, and it is through their lives that they bear witness to the faith and to the proclamation of Christ... This applies to everyone: we all have to proclaim and bear witness to the Gospel. We should all ask ourselves: “How do I bear witness to Christ through my faith? Do I have the courage of Peter and the other Apostles, to think, to choose and to live as a Christian, obedient to God?”
1 Corinthians 3:1-9; Psalm 33:12-13, 14-15, 20-21; Luke 4:38-44
The overall focus of Ordinary Time Liturgy is the work of Christ in accomplishing the Father’s mission. We spend this lengthy period each year trying to understand and put into practice the pattern of God’s work in God’s manner, remembering the adage that “the medium is the message.”
Today is an Ordinary Time Wednesday and the readings challenge me to consider the important little truth that God’s perspective on the Reign of God is not the same as mine. The Psalm gives a clue why God’s way is different.
“Who is this guy?”
“Isn’t he so-and-so’s kid?”
“Get outta here!”
“Where do you get off coming in here and lecturing us like this?”
“Take a hike!”
“Who do you think you are, anyway?”
Luke tells us: “No prophet is accepted in his own native place.”
1 Corinthians 2:10b-16; Luke 4:31-37
And news of him spread everywhere in the surrounding region.
While reflecting on today’s readings, “and news of him spread everywhere in the surrounding region” kept springing up in my mind. What were the various ways news was spread? What was said? What were people’s reactions? I think about our current methods of spreading news such as blogging, Facebook and Twitter, just to name a few, and these methods disseminate news quickly. And with the amount of news, we have become overloaded with news. At least I have. There are times when I completely try to step back from all news, but that doesn't last long. News is everywhere!