Today’s Gospel: Luke 6:20-26
Memorial of Saint Peter Claver, Priest
When I reach my breaking point during a stressful day, I often stand at my kitchen sink. The sink itself offers no respite or help; it’s often filled with dishes. The window behind it, though, offers a view of the mountains where I can rest my eyes and my brain just for a second. As I turn my eyes away from the mountains and back to my work, I see a small wooden crucifix that stands in the windowsill, and I let my eyes stop there for a few minutes, offering up whatever trial I am facing in unity with Christ’s suffering.
Jesus suffered more than we can imagine on the cross, but the life he led before his death was not easy, either.
In this passage, Jesus begins his sermon by raising his eyes to the disciples.
He is not talking down to them, standing above them on a hill. The gospel writer Luke has Jesus standing on a plain, level with those around him, eye to eye with his audience. This is no sermon on the mount with Jesus in a high place of authority. This is a heart–to-heart talk between a man and his friends.
This life isn’t going to be easy for you, he tells them. Expect bumps. This choice to follow me and bring about my kingdom is a tough path. You should not expect your rewards now. In fact, you should expect people to hate you and exclude and insult you on my account. You can count on this, though: when you see me in heaven, your reward will be great. Rejoice! Dance and leap for joy! Your struggles, your pain and your striving led you here. Be glad.
Sometimes, all it takes to put my trials in perspective is a brief moment of prayer and reflection while gazing at Jesus on the cross. Our pain and struggle here on earth is part of our journey of faith. In heaven, we will dance and leap for joy with Jesus.
What difficulties are you facing today that you can offer up to Jesus?
Jesus, when I’m struggling, help me to remember that my reward is with you in heaven. Amen.
We thank our friends at The Word Among Us for providing our gospel reflection team with copies of Abide In My Word 2015: Mass Readings at Your Fingertips. To pray the daily gospels with this wonderful resource, visit The Word Among Us.
Copyright 2015 Abbey Dupuy