In 1 Corinthians 7 today, St. Paul warns his readers that “time is running out.” This world is passing away. He warns them to use what time is left fruitfully. 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 I call the “anti-Beatitudes.” The Beatitudes all begin with “Blessed are…” But Luke records Jesus following those up with sayings that all begin with “Woe to you…”
This part of the Sermon on the Plain reminds us that all is not as it seems. When bad things in the eyes of the world come (poverty, hunger, grieving), God can bring about good. Conversely, when good things (in the eyes of the world) come, there can be a down side as well. The key is to seek God’s will in all of these things.
Father, forgive us for those times when we seek only worldly goods. Help us to remember that things are not always as they seem. Amen.