Wednesday, September 13, 2017

“Love without sacrifice for another is not love at all.”

But my sin was this, that I looked for pleasure, beauty, and truth not in Him but in myself and His other creatures, and the search led me instead to pain, confusion, and error. - St. Augustine: (354 – 430: was an early Christian theologian and philosopher whose writings influenced the development of Western Christianity and Western philosophy)

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."

The powerful and wealthy media mogul Ted Turner, speaking before the American Humanist Society, made this memorable pronouncement: “Christians are bozos and Christianity is a religion for losers.”

Maybe that’s why we sometimes feel like Ziggy, the bald, roly-poly comic strip character who prayed to God: “I just want you to know that the meek are still getting clobbered down here!”

Judging by the values of our culture, Ted Turner may not be far off the mark. 

But in today’s gospel, Jesus shocks us.  He turns our values upside down.  His words fall like bombshells exploding around the crowd, us included. 

This may not feel like Good News.  - The world will ridicule us as bozos and losers.  Nevertheless, Jesus is looking at you and me eyeball to eyeball and challenging us with his words.

Are we listening?

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