Today’s Gospel: Luke 6: 20-26
If I were to give a one-word representation of today’s Gospel as it speaks to me, it’s detachment. For example:
Blessed are you who are now weeping, for you will laugh. Or, 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.
Preachers and biblical scholars often speak to us of these passages from the Sermon on the Mount. These could be called the ‘Be-Attitudes.’ If we are detached from crippling sorrow at the loss of a loved one, of if we can accept the slings and arrows thrown at us because of our complete acceptance of Church teachings about marriage and contraception and abortion, then we are living the Be-Attitudes. And further — it doesn’t tell us we must wait till heaven to be joyous. If we can accept detachment as preached by Jesus, then a certain peace and joy comes upon us even now and in those moments.
A part of that message of joy in these hours is told to us (again, by the Master) that our reward is going to be so great in heaven. Our dwelling will be a mansion. It was Sanford F. Bennett (d:1868) who wrote the words, “There is a land fairer than day, and by faith we can see it afar, For the Father waits over the way, To prepare us a dwelling place there…. In the sweet by and by, We shall meet on that beautiful shore; In the sweet by and by, We shall meet on that beautiful shore.”
I visit a nursing home and some private homes once a week to take Holy Communion. Many people are struggling in sad and pain-filled ways. I try to share a bit with them about accepting their sufferings (discomforts, loneliness, hopelessness) and uniting them with Jesus. Giving sufferings to Him as reparation for our own sins and for those who are still in their sins. I admit it is easier to say than to believe. The greater promise comes from the balm of acceptance. And in the sweet bye and by, all will be passed. And we will meet on that beautiful shore.
Am I detached from virtually everything in my life? Would I consider a daily ‘examine’ of conscience to consider those things which I cling to?
St. Francis of Assisi, I find that I cling to objects and things of this world far too much. Help me to become detached from anything that separates me from a complete and unencumbered love of Jesus. Amen.
Copyright 2014 Deacon Tom Fox