Sixth Sunday of Ordinary Time

14 February 2010

Homily ~ Cyber-version


This last Sunday before Christ leads us into the graces of Lent our Bible readings are richly seasoned with a word that permeates both Scripture and our Christian path.

Blessed. For many Catholics this word may be used as a noun as meaning those recognized by the Church has having lived lives of beatific grace. As an official step on the formal path to sainthood the blessed are seen as models of those whose lives resonate with Gods favor.

Also when we hear this word we often think of the meaning that God has blessed us. Perhaps there has been a special answer to prayer, a healing, a financial or economic blessing, a restoration in a relationship or a grace-filled spiritual experience. This concept is rooted in Old Testament times and has grown through the Christian world to mean blessing as a sure sign of God’s favor. Today in many contemporary Christian circles the teachings of the “prosperity gospel” have been refined to preach spiritual formulas for both soul and especially material success and prosperity.

Yet we may struggle with the familiar teachings of Jesus from the Sermon on the Mount and today’s Sermon on the Plain wherein Jesus shares a clear yet challenging litany by which we care called to know and share the reality of being Blessed by God. But it is in these essential teachings of true Christian discipleship that Christ confronts the narrow paradigm that the Jews of His day and many Christians today seek to use to restrict the Blessed to their limited vision of physical and spiritual success. To better understand this Gospel truth it will be helpful to, as always, look at the context of our message. In Luke 6 the brief, entire context reads:

[17]And he came down with them and stood on a level place, with a great crowd of his disciples and a great multitude of people from all Judea and Jerusalem and the seacoast of Tyre and Sidon, who came to hear him and to be healed of their diseases.

[18] and those who were troubled with unclean spirits were cured.

[19] And all the crowd sought to touch him, for power came forth from him and healed them all. [20]And he lifted up his eyes on his disciples, and said: “Blessed are you poor, for yours is the kingdom of God.” It is important to note this is the same context found in Matthew 5, the Sermon on the Mount.


Blessed…favored by God, happy: {Psalm 1} YES! Our Lord longs to have our lives filled with the life and graces of His..Love, Joy, Peace, Goodness, and…yes..Patience, Gentleness, Meekness, Self-control, Faith, Courage. Allowing the Spirit of God to lead will allow God’s Spirit to also empower us to follow and live the journey He has consecrated for each of us.

Blessed …to be the consecrated…the hallowed, not just places, things or those who have gone on to eternity. It is also..the poor ..the Kingdom of God is theirs,

the hungry..they will be filled..the weeping..they will be comforted, the hated, excluded..insulted..denounced as evil on account of the Son of Man..rejoice..leap for joy for it is in those very real suffering we are called, consecrated…we are BLESSED to share His sufferings to enter into the very wounds of love our Lord suffered for us.

This season of Lent as we received the ashes of penance and conversion we must remember we are entering into a season in which we can know the promise of God shared by Isaiah the prophet to know a beauty for ashes that only the Blessedness of God can bring.

III Blessed are you…each of you…blessed is this parish. And as we each seek to follow our Lord in the journey before us may we seek to share His Blessing of healing touch and hope with the hungry, the hurting, the lonely as He looked upon and called His followers that day on the plain…Blessed are you!