Sunday, February 17, 2019
Sixth Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year C
“Blessed are you when people hate you, and when they exclude and insult you, and denounce your name as evil on account of the Son of Man. Rejoice and leap for joy on that day! Behold, your reward will be great in heaven.” Luke 6:22-23
Wow, it takes a lot of faith to “rejoice and leap for joy” after experiencing hatred and persecution from another. Even when one is persecuted on account of his/her faith in Christ, it takes a lot of faith and a lot of love to sincerely rejoice.
But with that said, this level of faith and love is possible! If it were not, our Lord would not have given this teaching. It is a teaching to live the highest ideal. It’s a calling to live in Beatitude.
Though it would be worth it to spend time on each and every one of the Beatitudes and to try to apply them to our lives, it’s also helpful to look at the more general fact that Jesus does not call us to mediocrity; rather, He calls us to the heights of perfection. It is within those heights that our souls find the greatest reward.
Reflect, today, upon this Beatitude. Perhaps you have never experienced persecution and hatred as a result of following Jesus. But even if you haven’t, try to put yourself into this situation and try to honestly discover how you would react. Would you be able to allow persecution to “roll off your back” so to speak? Would you be able to accept injustice in your life without allowing it to disturb your interior peace? Or would you turn bitter and angry as a result of the hurt you would feel.
Try to put your eyes upon the ideals of the Christian life. If you aim for anything less, you run the risk of actually attaining that lower goal. But if you put your eyes upon the high calling of the Beatitudes, then you will find that our Lord will continually draw you closer to His heart, cleansing you, strengthening you, filling you with more faith, hope and love, and bringing you to an increasingly blessed level of holiness. It’s worth it to aim for the ideal!
Lord, please make me holy. Help me to keep my eyes upon You and upon the virtues and Beatitudes that You call me to live. May I never settle for a mediocre life. Instead, may I strive only for a life of perfection and holiness making You the center of all I long for. Jesus, I trust in You.
Saints of the Day – Seven Holy Founders of the Servite Order
Three great books for Lent!