Scripture: Lectionary# 447: I Tim. 6:2-12. Psalm 49:6-7.8-10.17-18.19-20.
“Happy the poor in spirit, the kingdom of heaven is theirs.” Our Psalm
Response is an excellent interpretation of what the Scriptures are telling
us today. We are encouraged to live out this beatitude through our union
and love as disciples of Jesus who are called to live simply and joyously.
We learn some of the virtues and dispositions necessary for living in this
manner. Integrity, piety, faith, love, steadfastness, and a gentle spirit
are part of our life as disciples. These virtues help us to practice the
first beatitude Jesus gives us in his Sermon on the Mount.
The Gospel shows us that both men and women are called to be followers of
Jesus. The Twelve are mentioned and then Luke gives us the names of three
devoted and holy women who followed Jesus and the Twelve and assisted them
from their own means. We learn of Mary Magdalene, Joanna, and Susanna.
Throughout his gospel we will learn the names of other women who were
disciples of Jesus, but this small pericope is a gem for it explicitly
connects them to Jesus and his Twelve apostles.
The final verse of I Timothy is important for the complete message we are
hearing today: “Take firm hold on the everlasting life to which you were
called when, in the presence of many witnesses, you made your profession of
faith.” All of the persons who were mentioned in the Gospel embraced their
discipleship and witnessed to it publically. We are joyous to have their
names recorded in Luke so as to make them more life-like for our own
creative interpretation and meditation on these passages where names are
given. Some probably would have a leading role in the communities of faith
that were founded after the death and resurrection of Jesus.
Finally, for another insight into the beatitude given to us for today’s
response, we find the following in the Rule of Life of the Marianists—a
very active apostolic congregation of brothers, sisters, and priests. The
Rule cited is that of the Marianist brothers and priests: “We strive to use
simple means to achieve our goals. We are happy to practice hospitality,
welcoming others as Christ welcomes us.” ( Marianist Rule of Life, art. 28
under vow of poverty).