Blessings and Woes

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Life is fleeting. In today’s first reading from 1 Corinthians 7, St. Paul gives some advice to his readers about how to conduct their lives. He then writes, “For the world in its present form is passing away.”

In the Gospel reading from Luke 6, we begin hearing the Sermon on the Plain. It is Luke’s version of the Sermon on the Mount from Matthew’s Gospel. While very similar, there are some minor differences. For instance, the Sermon on the Mount takes up three chapters of Matthew. The Sermon on the Plain is much shorter. And there is one distinct difference at the beginning. In Matthew’s Gospel, we get the Beatitudes, which are all about blessings – “Blessed are…” However, in Luke’s Gospel, Jesus follows the blessings with woes – “Woe to you…” This passage always reminds me of Newton’s third law of motion: For every action there is an equal and opposite reaction. This isn’t a perfect analogy, but I hope you get what I mean. In essence, there are two sides to every coin.

“Blessed are you who are poor…But woe to you who are rich.” “Blessed are you who are now hungry…But woe to you who are filled now.” Isn’t it funny how Jesus views things exactly opposite of what we expect. When we’re rich, when we’re full, when we laugh, when people speak well of us – those are all times of blessing! Or are they? I believe that every situation has a blessing. The question is, can we see blessings in difficulties? When we’re poor, when we’re hungry, etc.? Jesus tells us they are there. Let’s pray we can recognize blessings in our woes.

Father, we thank you for blessing us in all things. Open our eyes to find the blessings even in difficult circumstances. Amen.

Today’s Readings

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