So what is it that drives you to get up every morning and hop back into what is commonly referred to as the “rat race”. What is it that you are working 60+ hours a week for? What is your goal in life? What motivates you?
Give that some thought and then give some thought to today’s message in the Gospel.
I’m sure we all know that beatitudes – but I would guess Matthew’s version more than Luke’s (which is what we read today). Luke was a bit more direct in what Jesus was telling the people of old – and us today – warning us to be careful as to what our true goals in life are…
But woe to you who are rich,
for you have received your consolation.
But woe to you who are filled now,
for you will be hungry.
Woe to you who laugh now,
for you will grieve and weep.
Woe to you when all speak well of you,
for their ancestors treated the false
prophets in this way.”
Is it wrong to want to strive for success – I think not. Is it wrong to work hard and be successful – I think not. Is it wrong to be successful and not share in that wealth – hmm. Is it wrong to take pride in our work, our success, our “order” in life – hmm. There are many questions we can ask ourselves here and I think they are legitimate questions to ask. I can’t ask them for you; I can’t judge anyone’s motivations but my own. But I can challenge you with the questions you/we all should be asking ourselves. Is our motivation to live a comfortable life here on earth? Is our goal wealth, prestige, a fast car, dinner out on the town, drinks and cigars on the veranda? If it is, be careful of the warning given to us in today’s Gospel. Here is another man’s thoughts on this – Bishop Barron…
Friends, our Gospel for today is Luke’s version of the Beatitudes, less well-known than Matthew’s but actually punchier, more to the point. It all hinges on detachment, that decisively important spiritual attitude. Apatheia in the Greek fathers, indifferencia in Ignatius of Loyola. Spiritual detachment means that I am unattached to worldly values that become a substitute for the ultimate good of God.
How bluntly Luke’s account puts things! Look at Luke’s first beatitude, a model for the rest: “Blessed are you poor; the reign of God is yours.” What if we translated this as, “How lucky you are if you are not addicted to material things.” When we place material things in the center of our concerns, we find ourselves caught in an addictive pattern.
Because material goods don’t satisfy the hunger in my soul, I convince myself that I need more of them to gain contentment. So I strive and work to get more nice things—cars, homes, TVs, clothes—and then I find that those don’t satisfy me. So I strive and strive, and the rhythm continues.
Therefore, how lucky I would be if I were poor, unattached to material goods, finally indifferent to them.
So, what is our end goal? What is it that we are trying to achieve? Give this some thought today as you take a break throughout the day – whether at work, at school, or between your putt and next drive on the golf course…
Do something great for our Lord today – make His eternal reward, His everlasting promise your goal and your motivation.
God’s will, not mine, be done.
Be not afraid; just have faith.
Jesus, I trust in You.
Please pray for Frank Larson and his family – his funeral Mass is today. May his soul and the souls of all the just, through the Mercy of God, rest in peace.