Wednesday of the Twenty-Third Week in Ordinary Time
Malvern Minute


Wednesday of the Twenty-Third Week in Ordinary Time

September 11, 2019

Deacon Anthony J. Cincotta

Assistant Director for Retreat Ministry

Colossians 3:1-11

Psalm 145:2-3, 10-11, 12-13ab

Luke 6:20-26

“Blessed are you who are poor, for the Kingdom of God is yours.”

There are ways of reading Luke’s beatitudes that do not affect some readers.  Am I poor, hungry, weeping, or persecuted?  I’ve never sat in a jail cell, slept in an alley, stood in line for a free meal, hid in a public library to stay warm, lost custody of my children, sunk into deep depression, or spent my old age all alone.  This is not who I am.

Of course, we all care.  We see photos of children in refugee camps next to news stories concerning who just won fifteen million dollars in a golf tournament while we are eating our breakfast.  We are troubled by the horrible condition of the children and we dutifully send our donations to help ease their suffering.  But neither the poor nor the rich live on my street.  Their reality is not mine.  Without a job, my savings would carry me a few months until foreclosure came knocking on my door.  I am not poor but neither am I rich.

So who is blessed?  Is it a cop-out to open wide the beatitudes to include those like me who do not struggle just to survive?   In “Building our House on Rock Fr. Dennis Hamm says that in Luke’s Gospel the poor includes all “who know their need for God.”  Like food, air, and friends, is my need for God how I make it through the day?  Has darkness loomed beside me and sent me stumbling toward the light?  Does hunger for God start my day and carry me into the night?  Then I too belong to the Kingdom.

Sisters and brothers, the poor show us the way.  Those facing troubles they can’t hide teach much to the rest of us.   Blest are those who know in their bones that they cannot make it on their own.  Blest are those who know they are in trouble and seek our help.  Blest are those who trust that help will come.  Blest are those who do not seek vengeance or nurse hatred.  Blest are those who give people a second or third chance.  Blest are those who trust that God is for real. 

Question of the Day: Is your heart rich with the beatitudes as explained by Jesus?

Prayer:  Father, give me a child’s heart.  Make me reach out to my brothers and sisters with love and compassion.



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