Wednesday, September 12, 2018
Today, in Mercy, our readings might lead us to wonder, “Does God have favorites?”
I think Luke’s Gospel today says, “Well, yes, kinda’!”
This passage from Luke is a parallel to Matthew’s Sermon on the Mount. Matthew includes the familiar Eight Beatitudes, delivered in spiritual tones which allow most of us find ourselves somewhere among them. Matthew talks about the “poor in spirit”, the meek, mourning and merciful. At least once in our lives, we probably fall into one of Matthew’s “blessed” categories. Doing so let’s us think we might be among God’s favorites or blessed ones — at least sometimes, right?
But hold up, here comes Luke with a whole different take on blessedness. Luke says just the plain poor, hungry, weeping and hated are blessed. Luke’s sanctifying suffering is material, not just spiritual. Luke suggests that the destitute, bereft and ostracized are clearly God’s favorites.
What does that say to us? I don’t know about you, but I’m not real anxious to join Luke’s blessed group. I don’t like the feeling of poor, hungry, weeping and hated! On the other hand, I do want to be one of God’s favorites, don’t you?
What I think we can do is this:
- to love the poor and materially broken as God loves them
- to do all we can to bring them comfort and healing, mercy and justice
- to learn from them what it is like to stand before God with nothing between us but longing and hope
- to look at our own materially abundant life with a critical eye and discerning heart
- to see any darkness we endure in the light of God’s illuminating promise
- to be grateful, humble, and open to the transforming graces God might offer us even in suffering
Music: Blessings ~ Laura Story