First Reading: 1Cor 7:25-31; Psalm: 45. R. v. 11a; Gospel: Lk 6:20-26
THE CHRISTIAN STANDARD
BY FR VALENTINE NNAMDI EGBUONU, MSP
In the world, the acquisition of wealth is very much desired. But in the beatitudes Jesus pronounced ‘woe’ to the rich and ‘blessedness’ to the poor. There is no satisfaction in hunger; but here is Jesus saying that the hungry shall be satisfied. Generally, to be sorrowful is not something good; yet in the beatitudes we hear that those who mourn are blessed. No human being enjoys being hated; but Jesus is saying that we should be happy when hated or rejected on his account.
These teachings of Jesus completely oppose the worldly standards. How can we understand or accept them? The point of this message is that if we set our hearts and bend our whole energies to obtain the things which the world values, we will get them, but that is all we will ever get. But if on the other hand we set our hearts and bend all our energies to be utterly loyal to God and true to him, we will run into all kinds of trouble but the joyful reward of heavenly blessings shall be our portion.
The beatitudes are a source of encouragement and consolation to every Christian who is a committed follower of Christ to keep the faith alive. As St Paul recounted, “This slight momentary affliction is preparing us for an eternal weight of glory beyond all measures.” (2Cor 4:17). Every pain for the sake of Christ is gain. It is better to bear momentary affliction and enjoy eternal happiness than to experience temporary joy and languish forever in sorrow. May the grace of God keep us faithful to our Christian calling till the end. Amen.
PRAYER FOR THE DAY
Help us O Lord to endure the afflictions that will come our way as we strive to follow you. Amen.