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Good News to the Poor

Lk 6:17, 20-26

 

 

1. The Human Situation

 

            Blessed are the rich, the world belongs to them

            Blessed are the rich, they will always be full, and their only problem is losing weight.

            Blessed are the rich, they will always laugh

            Blessed are the rich, they will often get elected to public office, even if they are incompetent and selfish.

 

Yes, wealth is a blessing and poverty is a curse -- according to the standard of the world.

 

            Woe to you who are poor, you won’t even have a plot in the cemetery.

            Woe to you who are poor, you will always be on a forced diet.

            Woe to you who are poor, you will easily get sick and you won’t have the money to buy medicine or pay the hospital.

            Woe to you who are poor, you will always be manipulated and exploited by the unscrupulous and corrupt politicians.

 

2. The Word of God

 

            In our Gospel today, Jesus overturns everything. He proclaims that the poor, not the rich are blessed, for the kingdom of God belongs to them. “Blessed are you poor … Woe are you rich.”

 

            Why is the poor blessed? Is Jesus promising a pie in the sky when the poor die?

Jesus does not say that poverty is a blessing.

 

            The Good News that Jesus came to proclaim is that when the kingdom of God comes, the poor will be liberated from their poverty and misery. The coming of the kingdom will usher in a new reality – a world where everyone shares and cares for one another, a world of justice and peace. This is indeed good news to the poor – and bad news to the rich whose lifestyle and power are perpetuated by exploiting the poor.

 

3. The Challenge for Christians

 

            As a community of disciples, we are called to continue what Christ started. We are called to be a Church of the Poor – a community that cares for the poor in our midst, a community where the poor are empowered to participate in the liberating mission of Christ.

 

            We are called to make the kingdom a reality in our community, in our society. This means doing what we can to eradicate poverty, to bring about justice and peace.

 

            It is only when the kingdom truly becomes a reality that  the poor will truly be blessed.