I’m a believer that we become what we think about. Apparently so is St. Paul. In today’s first reading from Colossians 3, he says, “…seek what is above” and “Think of what is above, not of what is on earth.” Sound advice. In the Gospel today from Luke 6, we begin the Sermon on the Plain.
Luke 6 records the same sermon that, in Matthew’s Gospel is called the Sermon on the Mount. Only in Luke’s Gospel, Jesus gives this sermon on a plain. There are just a few minor differences. And today we see one. In Matthew’s Gospel, Jesus gives the Beatitudes and moves on. But Luke records Jesus giving the Beatitudes, then what we can think of as the other side of the coin. The Beatitudes all begin with “Blessed are…” But Luke records Jesus following those up with sayings that all begin with “Woe to you…”
I like the Sermon on the Plain recounting these things. It gives me a reminder that, not only can good come when seemingly bad things are happening (Blessed are you who are hungry, Blessed are you who now weep, etc.), but bad things can come when it seems that good things of the world are happening to us (Woe to you who are rich, Woe to you who are filled, Woe to you when all speak well of you). Sometimes the ways of God can seem rather backward to us, huh?
Father, forgive us for those times when we seek only worldly goods. Help us to see our difficulties as blessings. Amen.