Reflection on Scripture Sixth Sunday Gospel C

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Sixth Sunday in Ordinary Times Gospel Reflections C

Jesus came down with the twelve and stood on a stretch of level ground with a great crowd of his disciples and a large number of the people from all Judea and Jerusalem and the coastal region of Tyre and Sidon.
· Luke tells us that Gentiles from Tyre and Sidon as well as Jews from Judea and Jerusalem were going out to hear Jesus and experience his miraculous powers.
· What comes before this passage in Luke is the relating that Jesus spent the night on the mountain side in prayer and followed this by naming the twelve apostles. Thus he came down with the twelve.
· What we have is Luke’s version of the Sermon on the Mount found in Matthew’s Gospel.
· Luke’s version is shorter because, though he is dependent on Matthew for one of his sources, his audience is different from Matthew. Matthew is predominately speaking to Jewish converts; Luke to Gentile converts.

And raising his eyes toward his disciples he said: “Blessed are you who are poor, for the kingdom of God is yours. 
· Luke addresses the economically and socially poor and calls them blessed.  Matthew focuses on the religious and spiritual poor who depend on the Lord for all.

Blessed are you who are now hungry, for you will be satisfied. 
· Again the same distinction is made by Luke and Matthew: Luke is concerned about the people in his community who are without proper amount of food and calls them blessed. While they may suffer now, they will be blessed. Matthew looks at those who are hungry and thirsty for justice and righteousness.

Blessed are you who are now weeping, for you will laugh. 
· Luke is addressing the physically sad; Matthew blesses those who mourn because of sin.

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. For their ancestors treated the prophets in the same way
· Do we experience some of this in our life because we try to follow Jesus? If so, we should be happy to know that we will be blessed, not now but in heaven.

But woe to you who are rich, for you have received your consolation.
· Luke provides four “beatitudes”; Matthew gives eight.
· Luke balances the picture by adding some negative contrasts: four woes. These are absent from Matthew.
· Luke addresses those who are financially rich but who do not share their blessings with those who are poor.

Woe to you who are filled now, for you will be hungry. 
· In contrast to those above who are hungry now and who will be satisfied later, Luke  tells those who are physically filled now that they will be hungry because they did not share with others.

Woe to you who laugh now, for you will grieve and weep. 
· Luke reminds those who enjoy their lives without concern for others or at the expense of others that the day will come when their situation will become reversed.
· Recall the parable of the rich man and Lazarus, the poor man. (Lk 16:19-31)

Woe to you when all speak well of you, for their ancestors treated the false prophets in this way.”
· Notice all four woes are in contrast to the four blessings. Luke seeks to warn those in his community what true discipleship is all about.
· What application can you make in your own life from this passage?

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