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BLESSED ARE THE POOR
Fr. Steven Scherrer
Homily of Wednesday, 23rd Week of the Year, September 09, 2009
Col 3:1-11, Ps144, Lk 6:20-26


"Blessed are you poor, for yours is the kingdom of God.... But woe to you that are rich, for you have received your consolation" (Lk 6:20,24).


The Beatitudes present us with a whole way of life, a new way of living in this world. It is the way of the anawim of the Old Testament, the blessed poor who lived only for God. They are the true blessed ones. Jesus tells us that the rich who live a luxurious life are cursed, for they have had their consolation in the pleasures of the flesh and of the body, that is, in worldly pleasures. "But woe to you that are rich," he says today, "for you have received your consolation" (Lk 6:24). He also said, "Truly, I say to you, it will be hard for a rich man to enter the kingdom of heaven. Again I tell you, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God" (Mt 19:23-24).


It is better to be among the poor of this world who live only for God. "Blessed are you poor," he says today, "for yours is the kingdom of God" (Lk 6:20). And if we are not poor by birth, even so, we can still accept Jesus' invitation to become poor by voluntarily renouncing the world and its pleasures for the sake of the kingdom of God. This is the call to perfection, the call to leave the pleasures of this world and renounce them for the sake of the kingdom of God.


To the rich young man, Jesus said, "If you would be perfect, go, sell what you possess and give it to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow me" (Mt 19:21). The rich glutton Dives, "who feasted sumptuously every day" (Lk 16:19), heard in hell, where he went after his death, that he has already had his consolation in the luxurious life he led (Lk 16:25). "Son, remember that you in your lifetime received your good things," Abraham said to him (Lk 16:25).


Now is the time to decide. Will you live in the future for God, or for yourself? Will you live a radical life of evangelical poverty, or will you continue living a life of worldly pleasure? Will you accept Jesus' invitation to be one of the anawim who live only for him, or will you have your consolation here below in the pleasures of this world?


Jesus invites us to a new way of living, to be one of the poor of Yahweh, to accept evangelical poverty, and renounce the world and its pleasures, to have our consolation in him and in his kingdom, rather than here below. St. Paul invites us to live an already risen life in the risen Christ and to seek the things that are above, not those of this world. St. Paul tells us today, "If then you have been raised with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth" (Col 3:1-2). He also warns us not to be like many who "live as enemies of the cross of Christ. Their end is destruction, their god is the belly, and they glory in their shame, with minds set on earthly things" (Phil 3:18-19).


 


 


 

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