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Liturgy

Wednesday of the 23rd Week in Ordinary Time

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!

Throughout his gospel Luke places an exceptional emphasis on poverty; and to ensure that we don’t avoid the subject by spiritualising it, he says “Blessed are you who are poor,” rather than “Blessed are the poor in spirit” (Mt 5:3).  And for the hard of hearing, “Woe to you who are rich.”

Why is wealth a problem?  No, wealth is not the problem; we are the problem.  Or rather, the problem is what we do and fail to do with wealth.  We have a tendency to selfishness and greed, which blinds us to the needs of other people, as it blinded the rich man to the needs of Lazarus (Luke 16).  It can help us believe that we are independent of other people and of events, and ultimately even of God.  Thinking about the rich young man in the gospels (Lk 18, Mt 19, Mk 10), Sahajananda wrote, “He identified himself with his riches – without them he had no existence.  With these riches he could not enter into the kingdom because the door to the kingdom is narrow.  Not narrow in the sense of space, but in the sense that only the essential aspect of our being goes through it; all acquired things have to be left out…. The kingdom of God is the essential nature of all human beings…. This treasure can neither increase or decrease.  No thief can get there and no moth can cause its destruction.”

By D. O'Shea

Pope Francis Twitter Feed

* Our Way of Life *

"Our diverse talents and abilities, our differences in culture, nationality and age are assets for the richness of the community. Although we may be engaged in a variety of ministries, we all share the common call to apostolic discipleship in a community of the Catholic Apostolate of St. Vincent Pallotti."(OWL, 91)

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"Christ, the Apostle of the Eternal Father, and his mission are central to our personal and community life, giving meaning and direction to our thinking, our spirituality, our prayer, action and suffering." (OWL, 19)

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"As a community of disciples we are gathered around Jesus, the Apostle of the Eternal Father. Like the first disciples, we want to be with Jesus, be sent out by him and return to him to evaluate our service in the light of his presence." (OWL, 88)

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"As Pallottines, it is our special charism to foster growth in faith and love among the laity, to awaken them to awareness of their apostolic call, and to cooperate with them in furthering the apostolic mission." (OWL, 21)

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"Our relationships with one another should be marked by a love that bears all, believes all and hopes for all, a love that is neither conceited nor jealous, which hurts no one, nor is embittered or resentful. It is never discouraged but remains patient and kind. It rejoices with others and shares their suffering. It is with this kind of love that we should help and support one another." (OWL, 90)

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