Reflecting on Luke 6: 17, 20-26
The prolific and insightful scripture commentator Alice Camille has this intriguing take on the Beatitudes: if you are poor in spirit, or hungry, or weeping, or being humiliated for taking an unpopular stand, God is very near, because God delights in being the salvation of one in need. Here is how I think this salvation takes place: when grief, or hunger, or a shocking reversal of fortune shakes our foundations, our cracked-open hearts provide a small entry space for grace.
When, as Sr. Joan Chittister says, we are lost in the land of nowhere but God, our very emptiness is what God delights in filling. That space seems to be exactly the right size for grace to seep in. And when grace seeps in—sneaks in?—blessing always ensues.
It’s profoundly moving to see the good news that the gospel is for those who are poor. Visit a nursing home, or maybe a trailer park, and count the number of crucifixes on the walls. The companionship of Jesus in the draft, and chill, and darkness of life is a greater blessing than affluence without him. It is, of course, the call of all believers to help alleviate the draft, the chill, the darkness, while drawing all to him who is Light.
That’s why Father John Kavanaugh, SJ, counsels us to abide in our hunger for holiness, to live with a thirst for justice. Why are there hungry people in a nation of shocking abundance? Thirst for justice for them. Are there people mourning in your parish right now? Abide in hunger to comfort them through the years ahead.
I thirst, Jesus said from the Cross. Blessed be He.
In what ways are you poor? In what ways are you rich?
Kathy McGovern ©2022