Jesus became poor to make us rich by his poverty. He is the firstborn among many poor brothers and sisters who trust in God and, hence, are blissful.
Jesus teaches that poor people are blessed, blissful. And those, too, who are hungry, and those who are weeping. Those, moreover, who become, on account of him, the target of hatred, exclusion, insult and denunciation.
And Jesus teaches not just with words. He also teaches by being true to them. That is to say, he practices what he teaches. And so, he casts his lot with the poor of the earth. He finds blissful being with them, and so he does not run away from them to chase wealth.
Yes, Jesus stays with the poor, those whose mistrust of selves is the basis for their trust in God (SV.EN III:143). For where they are, there the kingdom of God is. And he has his fill when they are hungry no longer. Also, laughter for him is seeing them laugh. Moreover, their joy in view of the great reward awaiting them in heaven—their hope is not just for this life—is reward enough for him.
All this may sound as beyond belief as the “pie in the sky by and by.” But it sounds that way if we look only at the blessings. It will become the opium that leaves the masses not at all blissful if the woes have no meaning. But the woes are Jesus’ way of saying, “Enough is enough” (Comentarios al Evangelio, #5).
No, Jesus cannot bear such wide and shocking chasm between the rich and the poor. He challenges us to give up and cry out against injustice and the evils that it brings. We are to root out hunger, malnutrition, inequality. And, surely, we cannot serve God and mammon. For God expects us to be loving and caring. Mammon, meanwhile, drives us to be greedy and exploitive of others.
Lord Jesus, make us blissful as we follow you in poverty, trusting in God and committed to serve the poor. Help us understand that we cannot receive worthily the Bread of Life without giving others the bread that they need to live (Meditaciones cortitas, #251).
17 February 2019
6th Sunday in O.T. (C)
Jer 17, 5-8; 1 Cor 15, 12. 16-20; Lk 6, 17. 20-26