Give me ten truly detached men. and I will convert the world with them.- St. Philip Neri
Gospel text (Lk 6,20-26):
Raising his eyes toward his disciples Jesus said:
"Blessed are you who are poor,
for the Kingdom of God is yours.
Blessed are you who are now hungry,
for you will be satisfied.
Blessed are you who are now weeping,
for you will laugh.
Blessed are you when people hate you,
and when they exclude and insult you,
and denounce your name as evil
on account of the Son of Man.
Rejoice and leap for joy on that day!
Behold, your reward will be great in heaven.
For their ancestors treated the prophets
in the same way.
But woe to you who are rich,
for you have received your consolation.
But woe to you who are filled now,
for you will be hungry.
Woe to you who laugh now,
for you will grieve and weep.
Woe to you when all speak well of you,
for their ancestors treated the false prophets in this way."
Blessed are the poor. At first glance, this sounds contradictory. How can someone be poor, hungry and hated and blessed?
This beatitude is the basis of all the others, because who is poor will be able to get the Kingdom of God as a gift. He who is poor will realize he must be hungry and thirsty: not of material things, but of the Word of God; not of power, but of love and justice. Who is poor will be able to cry over the world's sufferings. Who is poor, will know that God is all his wealth and, because of that, the world will not understand him and will harass him.
The world says happiness is wealth, personal satisfaction, maximum pleasure, and popularity. Too many Christians follow the world's idea of happiness and tacitly reject Jesus' beatitudes. However, Jesus is the Way to happiness, tells the Truth, and knows the meaning of Life (Jn 14:6).
We must "incarnate" our service to God's poor; it must become flesh. "The equal dignity of human persons requires the effort to reduce excessive social and economic inequalities. It gives urgency to the elimination of sinful inequalities. Solidarity...practices the sharing of spiritual goods even more than material ones" (Catechism, 1947-1948).
We must identify with the poor as does Jesus (see 2 Cor 8:9).
Blest are you who love Jesus enough to take up the daily cross. Blest are you who love Jesus more than pleasure. Blest are you who are weeping for your sins. Blest are you who are so on fire for Christ as to be persecuted.