The character of discipleship
Fr Paul reads from Luke’s Gospel (6: 20-26) when Jesus shares with his disciples what it means to be blessed by God. This Gospel has similarities to the Sermon on the Mount. However, just prior to Luke’s Gospel today, Fr Paul says we hear that Jesus comes to a level place so this is known as the Sermon on the Plains.
This sermon in Luke is a collection of sayings about the basic conditions of Christian Living. It begins with what we call ‘The Beatitudes’ and these beatitudes announce who is especially blessed by God. Luke has four, which relate to circumstances of life – he specifically mentions the poor, the hungry, the sad or grieving and the persecuted as those who are specially blessed by God. Luke is also makes the point that ‘blessedness’ does not consist of wealth, fame or festivities, which are highlighted in the contrasting four at the end of the Gospel.
In our prayer time today Fr Paul invites us to reflect on the warning that runs throughout this Gospel. The warning, he says, is this: the worry of those who have plenty (about how they should use what they have, responsibly for others) must be at least as great as the worry of those who worry just to survive.