Wednesday of the 23rd Week of the Year

Luke 6:20-26

Sermon on the Plain

OTHER HOMILY SOURCES:

In one of the editions of the Guinness Book of World Records, an account was told of a miserly woman who lived on oats day and night. To economize on fuel, she would cook the oats in the morning and would not reheat it even if the temperature would fall below zero. When her only son called up to ask for financial help because the latter’s leg would be amputated if not given proper treatment, she refused to give a single cent. The son’s leg was cut off. After this woman’s death, it was found out that she had accounts amounting to several hundreds of millions in at least 3 banks. The entire amount was bequeathed to charities.

In the gospel, Jesus says that blessings are received by those who endure sufferings. How true His words are in the case of the widow. Like her, during difficult times, we turn to him for comfort and consolation. Under God’s divine care and love, we are strengthened to face life’s adversaries. We learn to cope and to hope for a brighter tomorrow and a promise of a better future.

On the other hand, woe to the wealthy, according to our Lord. The rich woman in the 2nd account alienated herself from her family and friends. She died alone. We can surmise that perhaps with her wealth she thought she needed no one, not even God. We can imagine how lonely and isolated her life  was if you call it life – no family, no friends, no God. (Bong Ferrer, Bible Diary 2002)

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Those who live for this life alone say: “You will be happy if you become rich, always have a good time, eat well, and are praised by all.”

Jesus says, “If you want to be happy, become poor, weep over the sins of sinful people, control yourself in eating and drinking and rejoice if people persecute you and speak against because you are my follower.”

How to reconcile this difference in the formula for happiness? The two formulas cannot be reconciled. I most choose between the two. I may want to be happy both in this life and in eternity but Jesus clearly says: “You cannot serve two masters, God and riches.”

The difference in the formula for happiness comes from the viewpoint one has. People who live for this world alone regard poverty, mourning, hunger and persecution, as evil. And they are correct, for as St. Paul says, “If this life is everything, then we might as well eat drink and be merry, for tomorrow we shall die.” But for those who believe in God and heaven, this life is but a test, a short quiz. Poverty, especially in spirit, will have one detached from the good things of this world and enable one to look forward to the riches of heaven. If one mourns over the sins of mankind, e.g., murder (abortion), robbery, lying, cheating, adultery, kidnapping and so forth, one will not commit these sins. If one controls the desire for food and hard drinks, one can more easily hunger and thirst for the heavenly banquet. If one is spoken against because one follows Jesus and His way of life, one can more readily look for the praise of Jesus and His Father.

If I have Jesus on earth, I have the source of eternal happiness. Deep down in my heart I will be happy even in a life of service of God and neighbour in imitation of and out of love for Jesus. (Fr. Stan Plutz, SVD Bible Diary 2005)

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In Waray-waray dialect, if you ask old people in particular, how life is for them or how they have been, the common answer that you will get is “malooy an Dios, maupay gud man.” This means “sa awa ng Dios mabuti naman.” (I’m fine by God’s grace).

When a big flood claimed many lives in Ormoc City, people, especially those directly affected, did not give in to despair. They were determined to rise and pick up the pieces and move on because “maloloy-on an Dios.” (God is merciful) And this indeed was contributory to the re-birth of the city. If you visit the place today you will see no traces of that tragedy except for a mass burial site.

The gospel today is a concrete reminder to all of us that trusting the Lord creates wonders in our lives. In fact science has acknowledged that the religious orientation of a patient is a factor towards the road to recovery and wellbeing. But this trust or faith doesn’t come to us without a challenge because basically it’s a two way process. It means that while we put our trust in the Lord we have to make it concrete by exerting our own little effort. St. James in his letter puts it concretely that faith without works is lifeless.

The challenge of the gospel is for us to express our faith in action the gospel assures us that whoever puts his/her faith in the Lord will be rewarded, a faith that finds its completion in works. We call this pro-active faith! (Fr. Jun Javines, SVD Bible Diary 2007)

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The formula of ‘beatitudes’ is the biblical way of teaching the way to genuine happiness. (Note that beatitude means happiness).

Two Old Testament parallels are helpful: Psalm 1: “Happy those who do not follow the counsel of the wicked…Rather, the law of the Lord is their joy…” Jeremiah 17:7-10: “Blessed is the one who trusts in the Lord, whose is the Lord.”

The great saints have expressed the same insight: St. Teresa of Jesus (of Avila): “Solo Dios basta” (Only God matters). St. Francis of Assisi: “My God and my all!”

Another expression of this basic lesson is the Great Commandments: to love God totally and to love all as a proof of our love of God. Living out this commandment definitely spells genuine happiness in this life and in the next.

Luke’s formulation of the beatitudes (and corresponding woes: poor-rich/hungry-filled, weeping-laughing, hatred/excluded/insulted/denounced-reward) may be interpreted within the framework of human life’s basic needs: profit, prestige, power. (cf. Christ’s threefold temptation). Genuine beatitude consists in making God the sole source and satisfaction of these fundamental needs.

I will end with the thoughts of St. Paul. God will provide for our physical needs (2Cor 11:26). God will be our prestige and honor (2Cor 11:23). God will be our power (1Cor 4:10). Therefore, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions and constraints, for the sake of Christ; for when I am weak, then I am strong,” (2Cor 12:10).

This is the paradoxical truth, the wisdom of the Cross: life through death, happiness through self-sacrificing totality in and for God which manifests itself in a lifelong service of our brothers and sisters, God’s family. (Fr. Willy Villegas, SVD Bible Diary 2008)

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In our secular culture today, the beatitudes could be read in this way:

Blessed are you when you are rich…..if you live comfortably and have a roof over your head. Good for you if you have a car, you don’t have to take the public transport. Fortunate are you if you have a bank account, it makes you feel secure and impregnable. You’re better off than 80% of the world’s population today.

Blessed are you if you never grow hungry….. if you have always food on your table and a lot more stacked in your fridge. There’s no fear of being starved like those who go scavenging for food in the third world. You are better off than the 925 million who go to bed hungry every night.

Blessed are you when you are full of laughter….. yes, if you have never experienced loneliness, manic-depression, despair or mental problem.  However, survey says that happiness in high society is not higher than in the lower ranks.

Blessed are you when you are accepted…. if you are dotted upon by peers and never been bullied or harassed. You’re much better off than many Christians whose persecution is getting worse day by day.

But wait a minute! The values of this world are radically opposed to those of the kingdom. Jesus turned the values of this world upside down. Those who are poor now will possess the kingdom; those who are hungry now will be filled to the brim; those who weep now will be ecstatically happy; and those who are persecuted now will be rewarded in heaven. The challenge of the Beatitudes for you and me today is: Will we be happy on this planet in our own way or in Jesus’ way? (Fr Dom Flores, SVD Bible Diary 2012)

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In the seminary we have an interesting prayer which we usually pray on a first Friday juxtaposing today’s gospel on the Beatitudes with the “worldly beatitudes.”

Once upon a time, there arose a great teacher of men. He was very wise in the ways of the world. His name was Dr. World. . Being a very rich and powerful man, Dr. World owned a T.V. broadcasting station from which he preached to all the peoples of the earth. On one special occasion, Dr. World sat on this seat of wisdom and preached his hot ‘gospel’ His teachings were gladly accepted and practiced by all. He said

“My dear friends and fellow humans: Long, long ago, there lived a so called Master:

  1. Who was foolish enough to say: Blessed are the poor in inspirit because the Kingdom of heaven belongs to them”.

But I say to you: “Blessed are the rich, the millionaires, the super-landlords, the industrial barons of the world, because all the kingdoms of the earth belong to them”.

  1. He was simple-minded enough to say: “Happy are those who mourn and wail, because God will comfort them”.

But, I say to you: “Blessed are the merry makers and the pleasure seekers, the fun lovers and those who laugh in season and out of season, because they will not need anyone to comfort them”.

  1. He was naïve to say: “Blessed are the meek because they will receive whatever God has promised them”.

But, I say to you: “Happy are the violent, the arrogant, the powerful and the aggressive because they will not have to depend on God or man to receive what they want.”

  1. He was dull enough to say: “Blessed are those whose only desire is to do the Will of God, because God will satisfy them to the full”.

But, I say to you: “Blessed are the self-willed, the stubborn and those who do just what they want. They will not need either God or men to satisfy their whims and wants.”

  1. He was weak-headed enough to say: “Blessed are the merciful, the forgiving and those who love their enemies because God will be merciful to them”.

But I say to you: “Blessed are the revengeful, the vindictive and those able to destroy their enemies. They will not stand in need of anyone’s forgiveness, nor be at the mercy of anyone”.

  1. He was prudish enough to say: “Blessed are the pure of heart because they will see God”.

But, I say to you: “Blessed are those who can wallow in all sorts of worldly pleasures because they will feel deeply gratified. They will not need to experience God to be satisfied.”

  1. He was simplistic enough to say: “Blessed are those who work for peace among men because God will call them his sons”.

But, I say to you: “Blessed are the quarrelsome and the bellicose, and those fighting for the possession of the world, because they will be feared and greatly respected by all’’.

  1. He was dull-witted to say: “Happy are those who are reviled and persecuted for doing the right and for striving for justice in the world, because the kingdom of heaven belongs to them.

But, I say to you: “Blessed are those who do not care for fairness and justice, because they will live in peace protected by the mighty of the world”. (http://ribessj.org/DR_WISDOM.pdf)

Worldly, earthly, secular, mundane, temporal, base, unspiritual – these adjectives describe the “blessedness” of today’s world. However, these worldly blessings of power, money, fame, and self-indulgence are deceiving. They effectively bewitch us with their intoxicating effects and, as a result, exploitation, manipulation, and discord wreck havoc on everyone and on every relationship.

The true blessedness proposed by Jesus is being poor in spirit, meek, merciful, righteous, single-minded and persevering in persecution and difficulties. For there is one encompassing motive in living out Jesus’ beatitudes – the Reign of God. However, this reign o God is not relegated to the end time. in fact living out the Christian beatitudes in our day to day life will bring down power and pride, make money an instrument to rebuild the lives of the poor and marginalized, and make fame irrelevant. If this begins to happen, then the reign of God is truly at hand (Fr. Raul Caga SVD Bible Diary 2015).

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September 7, 2016 Wednesday

“Beatitude” literally means happiness or blessedness. Jesus in this gospel is presenting us with the qualities of life that should make us happy and live in blessedness.  A High School student in Colegio Verbo Divino, Guaranda, Ecuador came up to me with tears in her eyes: “Me sentimuyenojado con mi familia y no estoy feliz!” (I feel very angry with my family and I am not happy.) Coming from a rich family she didn’t need money but the warmth and loving caress of her Mom and Dad.

Her experience challenged me and made me reflect on the importance of Christ’s message in the gospel today. What then is the true source of happiness in life? From his teaching of God’s Kingdom, Jesus addresses the issue of true happiness as demanding a transformation from within and a conversion of heart and mind with the help of the Holy Spirit. Sure enough we can be lled with happiness if we empty ourselves first of the “extra baggage” of worldly things in our lives. For a man of faith, possessing God and Him alone is surely the greatest treasure in life. Working with the Indiginas in the mountains of Guaranda, Ecuador and with the Mangyans of Mindoro gave me great rejoicing that such people taught me to be happy in spite of their “nothingness.” It was a challenge that inspired me to offer more time with them even beyond the call of duty. Let us not forget the promise of Jesus to his disciples when he told them that the joys of heaven will compensate for the troubles and hardships they can expect in this world. (Fr. Jun Pateño, SVD U.S.A. Bible Diary 2016)

rveritas-asia.org/daily-reflection/877-september-7-2016-wednesday

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THE BLESSING OF BEING POOR: Some of you may recall that Jaime Cardinal Sin, our Archbishop, visited the Soviet Union a few years back. I was with him then. I share with you now an incident that happened before that visit.

As a prince of the Church, Cardinal Sin cannot go to a communist country. So for his trip to Russia, he had to secure the permission of Rome. Thus, he wrote a letter to Rome. After three months without receiving a reply, the Cardinal and I went to Rome to ask the Holy Father whether he would allow him. The Holy Father did not want to commit any mistake, so he called for a council of cardinals composed of 15 cardinals all over the world. We had to wait in Rome until all the 15 cardinals arrived. The Pope asked each one of them if they would allow the Cardinal of Manila to go.

Each one was allowed to speak. I realized then that there were other cardinals who were aspiring to go to Russia because no cardinal had yet set foot on Russian soil since 1917. The human aspect of the Church came in when the other cardinals did not want Cardinal Sin to go because they themselves wanted to go. They wanted to be first. Finally, the cardinals of the first world asked, through the Holy Father, why the Cardinal of Manila should be invited to go to Russia. Cardinal Sin, with a very faint smile on his face replied: “It is probably because i come from a poor country. The Philippines cannot be a threat to Russia. That may be the reason why they invited me. I have nothing to boast of. I am poor and I come from a poor country.”

The Cardinal’s explanation was so simply yet pointedly said that it made me cry. The other cardinals were also moved. They stopped all further deliberations and gave Cardinal Sin the go signal.

I can never forget the scene because it really shows us how God blesses the poor. Poverty always carries with it its blessings. We should never be afraid of being poor because we might miss a lot of graces.

Other nations may have a lot of money, but these are nothing in the kingdom of God. God chooses the weak to bring His mission to completion.

In an account in the Acts of the Apostles, Peter saw a crippled man at the beautiful gate of the temple. Peter said to the man: “Brother, gold or silver I have none in my pocket. I am poor, but in the name of Jesus Christ, I bid you to stand up and walk.” The crippled man was able to walk.

Our world needs to rise up from being crippled. The Philippines needs to rise up from its paralysis. Why can’t we address the Philippines? Why can’t we address the crippled people now and say: “I bid you, in the name of Jesus, rise up and walk!”

I am afraid the reason must be because we cannot say, “God and silver, I have none.”

We cannot say that anymore. We cannot say we do not have money in our pocket and that our only treasure is Jesus. The admonition will not ring true for us, because we have money jiggling in our pockets, we have wealth stashed in our homes. We cannot invoke the words because they are not true for us.

We are unable to utter the words, and this is why miracles no longer happen. We cannot bid the cripple to rise up anymore because we cannot say: “I have no more silver, i have no more gold.”

Can we still say that? Do you really believe that poverty is a blessing?

If your house were to burn today, if you were to know right now that you have contracted a fatal illness, would you still thank God? Would you still praise God for all these things that could happen.

Let us not forget. God blesses the poor in spirit. Poverty always carries with it a blessing. If we are poor, we could command the cripple to walk. If we are rich, we could become powerless in the eyes of God. (Socrates Villegas, Only Jesus, Always Jesus, pp. 140-141)

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JESUS KNOWS: Today let me focus your attention on the place where the Lord said the Beatitudes. It makes a difference because according to Matthew, the Lord said the Beatitudes while He was on the mountain. But Luke says the Lord said the beatitudes after coming down from the mountain. We just heard the gospel of St. Luke. Therefore, the Lord came down from the mountain.

For me, it is significant because when you come down from the mountain and you teach your students, you are on the same level as they are. In other words, Jesus was not above them and speaking over their heads. He was speaking from theory. He was on the same ground upon which His students stood.

Jesus was on the same ground where the poor stood and where the hungry stood, and that made a lot of difference.

Sometimes we can teach from theories. But the best way to teach is to teach from the same level upon which your students stand, or the same ground upon which your students stand.

The teacher should suffer as they suffer. He should be hungry as they are hungry and be thirsty as they are thirsty.

That is why the Lord did. When he said: “Blessed are you who are poor,” He could also have said, “Blessed are we who are poor because I know what is like to be poor.” When He said, “Blessed are those who weep, blessed are those who mourn,” He could also have said, “Blessed are we who mourn, blessed are we who weep and blessed are we who are persecuted.” He could say these things because He was undergoing the same sufferings, the same mourning and the same weeping that His audience was going through.

That is the secret of power and authority. Some people have authority but have no credibility because they speak from the intellect. Some have authority but have no power and no credibility because they do not speak from the heart. They do not speak from their own experience. They do not know what the poor are going through.

I told you that I was a seminarian I met a Little Sister of Jesus who was involved with the poor. She lived with them. She wasn’t setting up cooperatives or livelihood projects. Not even catechizing. Not ever talking to them. Nothing. She just stayed with them. She just lived in the squatter’s area.

I said to her, “Sister, you cannot preach to empty stomachs. We must set up some livelihood projects. We must improve the lives of the poor.” And the sister held me by my two cheeks and said to me, “Yes you can teach, you can preach to empty stomachs, if the stomach of the teacher or preacher is empty as his students.”

Dear parents, brothers and sisters, we are all people in authority. Let us exercise our authority by standing on the same ground upon which those under us stand. (Socrates Villegas, Jesus Loves You, pp.214-216)

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While the list of “Blessed” in Matthew addressed to the crowd, in Luke’s account Jesus addressed his beatitudes as he “raised his eyes to his disciples.” Discipleship means not just learning, but also living in a sense of blessedness. Genuine discipleship then is not just the experience of hard work but the experience of inner peace and joy. From here flows the motivation and desire to go on, no matter what. We want to be Jesus’ disciples whatever it takes, because with this commitment comes out our inner sense of happiness. A real disciple, a true priest, a true religious, an authentic committed lay person for the Church is one who finds happiness with what he or she lives with. So, are we… are you happy?

The happiness and blessedness of the disciple is in a lifestyle that is:

  • “poor” (simple/materially sufficient but detached/living with the most essential).
  • “hungry” (with a vision of the future/an ideal to dream for and strive for).
  • “weeping” (compassionate/ sympathetic/ emphatic in solidarity with others).
  • “ostracized” (faithful and courageous to one’s honest cause) – Fr Domie Guzman SSP New Every Morning New Everyday pp. 273-27

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September 12, 2012

The Most Holy Name of Mary (OptM)
WHITE
Wednesday of the 23rd Week
GREEN
1 Cor 7:25-31
Ps 45
Lk 6:20-26
Lk 6:20-26
Sermon on the Plain
20Raising his eyes toward his disciples, [Jesus] said: “Blessed are you who are poor, for the kingdom of God is yours. 21Blessed are you who are now hungry, for you will be satisfied. Blessed are you who are now weeping, for you will laugh. 22Blessed 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. 23“Rejoice and leap for joy on that day! Behold, your reward will be great in heaven. For their ancestors treated the prophets in the same way. 24But woe to you who are rich, for you have received your consolation. 25But woe to you who are filled now, for you will be hungry. Woe to you who laugh now, for you will grieve and weep. 26Woe to you when all speak well of you, for their ancestors treated the false prophets in this way.”

REFLECTION
Woe to you who are rich. Why does Jesus pronounce “woe” to the rich, those who are filled now, those who laugh now, and those who are well-spoken of? It is because their hearts are far from God. Riches can make a person feel self-sufficient, secured, and having no need for God. A spirit of arrogance can come in, and likewise a false sense of superiority. The rich may take wealth as the ultimate source of fun, laughter, enjoyment. Wealth can induce them to lies, flatteries, and bragging. Thus woe is reserved for those who are very much preoccupied with material things, forgetting the needs of their souls. Woe is to those blinded by material comforts that they do not pay attention to the words and will of God. Woe is for those who no longer hope for God’s providence and intervention.

Do you treat your blessings as reasons for self-enjoyment or as gifts entrusted to you for the service of others?

ssp.ph/index.php/online-resources/366-days-with-the-lord/1992-september-12-2012

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In our secular culture today, the beatitudes could be read in this way:

Blessed are you when you are rich…..if you live comfortably and have a roof over your head. Good for you if you have a car, you don’t have to take the public transport. Fortunate are you if you have a bank account, it makes you feel secure and impregnable. You’re better off than 80% of the world’s population today.

Blessed are you if you never grow hungry….. if you have always food on your table and a lot more stacked in your fridge. There’s no fear of being starved like those who go scavenging for food in the third world. You are better off than the 925 million who go to bed hungry every night.

Blessed are you when you are full of laughter….. yes, if you have never experienced loneliness, manic-depression, despair or mental problem.  However, survey says that happiness in high society is not higher than in the lower ranks.

Blessed are you when you are accepted…. if you are dotted upon by peers and never been bullied or harassed. You’re much better off than many Christians whose persecution is getting worse day by day.

But wait a minute! The values of this world are radically opposed to those of the kingdom. Jesus turned the values of this world upside down. Those who are poor now will possess the kingdom; those who are hungry now will be filled to the brim; those who weep now will be ecstatically happy; and those who are persecuted now will be rewarded in heaven. The challenge of the Beatitudes for you and me today is: Will we be happy on this planet in our own way or in Jesus’ way? (Fr Dom Flores, SVD Bible Diary 2012)

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V. 23: The Beatitudes remind us the incomprehensible thought and standard of God: His ways are different, that a negative and unwanted condition has positive and lasting value. fear not poverty, hunger, sadness and persecution. they usher us to our salvation. (Fr. Ching OP)

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WEDNESDAY OF THE 23RD WEEK IN ORDINARY TIME (YEAR A) – LUKAS 6:20-26. Kinsa man ang bulahan nga tawo? Kon makakita kita’g dato, abilidaran, sikat, gwapo o gwapa, dali tang makaingon, “Pagkabulahan nga tawo!” Ang bahandi, talento, dungog ug panagway maoy atong sukdanan sa pagkabulahan. Apan, dili ingon niini ang Kristohanong pagtulon-an. Ang tawo mahimo lamang nga bulahan kon siya magpuyo uban sa Dios. Ang kalinaw, kalipay, kahulogan ug katagbawan dili mapalit og kwarta ug dili usab mahatag gikan sa ubang tawo. Kining mga butanga madawat lamang nato gikan sa Dios. Ang tawo nga mosalig kanunay sa Dios matawag nga bulahan bisan kon siya kabos, gitamay o gilutos tungod kay maiya man ang bahanding langitnon. Apan ang tawo nga walay Dios mahimong alaot bisan kon anaa kaniya ang tanan tungod kay dili man siya makabaton og kinabuhi nga makahuloganon ug malungtaron. Posted by Abet Uy

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Tuesday, September 8, 2015

WEDNESDAY OF THE 23RD WEEK IN ORDINARY TIME (YEAR B) – LUKAS 6:20-26. KINSA MAN ANG BULAHAN NGA TAWO? Kon makakita kita’g dato, abilidaran, ug may porma, dali tang makaingon, “Pagkabulahan nga tawo!” Ang bahandi, talento, ug panagway maoy atong sukdanan sa pagkabulahan. Apan, dili ingon niini ang Kristohanong pagtulon-an. Ang tawo mahimo lamang nga bulahan kon siya magpuyo uban sa Dios. Ang kalinaw, kalipay, kahulogan ug katagbawan dili mapalit og kwarta ug dili usab mahatag gikan sa ubang tawo. Kining mga butanga magagikan lamang gikan sa Dios. Ang tawo nga mosalig kanunay sa Dios matawag nga bulahan bisan kon siya kabos, gitamay o gilutos tungod kay maiya man ang bahanding langitnon. Apan ang tawo nga walay Dios mahimong alaot bisan kon anaa kaniya ang tanan tungod kay dili man siya makabaton og kinabuhi nga malinawon ug malipayon. Posted by Abet Uy

abetuy.blogspot.com/2015/09/wednesday-of-23rd-week-in-ordinary-time.html

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WHO ARE THE BLESSED PEOPLE? When we see rich people, talented people, and people who beautiful and handsome, we immediately say, “What a blessed people!” It is because our measurement of blessedness is wealth, talent, and being handsome and beautiful. However, this is not the Christian teachings. A man can only be blessed if he lives with God. it is because money cannot buy peace, joy, life’s meaning and satisfaction, and should not be given to other people. It is freely given. These things only come from God. The man who always trust in God called blessed be he poor, despised or persecuted because belong to the heavenly treasures. But the godless man may be bad even if he has all because he does not have eternal peace and happiness

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Wednesday, September 9, 2015

WEDNESDAY OF THE 23RD WEEK IN ORDINARY TIME (YEAR B) – LUKAS 6:20-26. NGANONG PROBLEMA MAN ANG BAHANDI? Sa pagkatinuod, ang bahandi dili maoy problema kondili kita. Kita ang dili makamaong mogamit sa mga butang ning kalibotan. Dali ra kitang mahimong laug, ug tungod niini, dili kita mopaambit sa unsay ato ngadto sa uban. Tungod sa kagustohan nga modaghan ang bahandi, makat-on kita sa pagpamintaha ug pagpanikas. Imbis makatabang, ang bahandi mao na hinooy hinungdan sa pagkadaot sa atong relasyon sa Dios ug sa isigkaingon. Ang tawo maglisod gayod pagsulod sa langit kon dili siya makat-on pagbiya sa iyang bahandi. Huot ang pultahan sa langit dili tungod kay kini gamay kondili tungod kay ang masulod niini mao lamang ang maayong pagkatawo ug binuhatan, dili ang kalibotanong mga butang. Sakto ang giingon ni B.C. Forbes, “Real riches are the riches possessed inside.” Posted by Abet Uy

abetuy.blogspot.com/2015/09/wednesday-of-23rd-week-in-ordinary-time_9.html

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WHY TRESURE IS A PROBLEM? Actually, the wealth is not the problem, but we are the problem. We do not know how to use the things of this world. We easily could persist, and therefore, we share what we have with others. Because of the desire to increase wealth, we learn of exploitation and fraud. Instead of helping, the substance rather than causes of our relationship with God and neighbor. The man could not enter heaven unless he learns to leave his property. Huot the door of heaven not because it is small, but because the dead are only good person and works, not the mundane things. Right says B.C. Forbes, “Real wealth is the wealth possessed inside.”

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PREFERENTIAL OPTION FOR THE POOR – A frequent theme that has come from the papacy in recent years is the call for the Church to adopt a preferential option for the poor. What does this mean and why are leaders in the Church calling for it?

In the Gospel today, we read the Lucan version of the Beatitudes. Luke simply says, “Blessed are the poor” and leaves it at that. Matthew tempers the statement by adding “in spirit” at the end. It would seem that the original version of the Beatitudes is closer to Luke than Matthew using the principle that the simplest or shorter version is most likely closer to the original text.

Luke’s Gospel is often interpreted as the Gospel of the Poor due to its frequent mention of the poor and Jesus’ focus on them in His ministry. The Church, on the other hand, has often been aligned with the government of a particular country, where there are dictators in power. This has led to two faces of the Church: that aligned with the rich and the powerful, and that aligned with the poor. It is not a matter of one or the other — the Gospel is for all people. It is, however, easy to be a Church of the rich but difficult to champion the needs and the dignity of the poor.

The Church is calling on its clerics and lay leaders to ensure that the poor are not lost to the Church through neglect. We need to focus our attention and efforts towards them as they do not have the means to make this happens, unlike the rich. In a world where the rich accumulate more and more power, the Church must always see to it that the needs of the powerless and the poor are attended to. The Church must never forget its role as a moral compass for society, to the best of its ability, respecting and promoting the dignity of the human person. Fr. Steve Tynan, MGL

REFLECTION QUESTIONS: How do you serve the poor in your life? In what ways do you express concern and love for the poor?

Jesus, help me to make a place in my heart for the poor and the powerless. Help me to do all that I can to promote their needs and dignity at every opportunity.

kerygmafamily.com/modules/dailyreadings/read.php?date=2015-09-09

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YEAR OF THE POOR – Blessed are you who are poor, for the Kingdom of God is yours. – Luke 6:20

Last year was declared the Year of the Poor. It’s also been months now since the national elections have been held. “The Poor Man” is suddenly thrust at the limelight again, claiming to be the reason for every politician’s campaign.

After a year or so of the Year of the Poor, and before campaign promises are quickly forgotten, it should be good to ask, “What are we doing for the poor?”

It was good for the Church to point out the “real poor.” And again, of what we, who claim to be “also poor,” have done for them. Because it’s not just the Church’s or the politicians’ concern. It’s everybody’s.

That’s why I’m grateful to belong to a spiritual community, the Light of Jesus Family, that runs mercy ministries such as Anawim (Home for the Elderly), Tahanan ng Pagmamahal (for orphans), partnership with He Cares (for street kids), and more works of love and charity for the “real poor.”

Yet, I know I have much to do, in my own little world, in my own little way. After all, when we minister to the poor, we are privileged to serve those to whom the kingdom of God has been given. Alvin Barcelona (apb_ayo@yahoo.com)

Reflection: Today, go and find someone who is “really poor.” Do something for that person — now!

Dear God, grant me the grace to help others who are truly in need, even if I think I myself need help. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

kerygmafamily.com/modules/dailyreadings/read.php?date=2016-09-07

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CONSOLE SOMEONE TODAY – One of the most touching moments in the visit of Pope Francis to the Philippines in January 2015 was his encounter with the young people at the University of Sto. Tomas. In that gathering, several testimonies were given by children from different sectors of society. One moving testimony came from a young girl named Glyzelle Palomar. From what I remember, she was an abandoned street child who was eventually sold into prostitution. After enumerating the series of difficulties life has thrown at her, she asked the Holy Father in Filipino, “Why does God allow these things to happen to some people?” At that point, Glyzelle broke down.

Pope Francis did not really understand what was going on as it was in Filipino. After asking Cardinal Chito Tagle, Pope Francis approached Glyzelle and, without saying a word, enveloped the girl in a compassionate embrace. Later on, in his homily, Pope Francis said, “Certain realities in life we only see through eyes that are cleansed with tears.” As a parting message, the Pope encouraged everyone to ask God for the gift of tears.

Today’s Gospel is the Beatitudes. One of the beatitudes read: “Blessed are you who are weeping; you shall laugh.” The ability to weep is the ability to be compassionate, to be moved by another person’s pain. The ability to shed tears is a sensitivity to the Gospel call to console the sorrowful.

The next morning’s headlines showed the Pope in a tender embrace with Glyzelle. The caption read: The Pope consoles Glyzelle Palomar after she delivers a tearful testimony at the Papal encounter with the youth.

The world console comes from the Latin con, meaning with, and solus, meaning one who is alone and isolated. To console therefore means to be “with one who is alone.” Those who weep have the power to be with one who is alone. Those who weep are willing to be with one who is isolated. That is what the Gospel praises as blessed.

Do you have that power? Do you have that ability? Fr. Joel Jason

REFLECTION QUESTIONS: How is your heart? Is it moved by the pain of another? Do you move to console the isolated?

Soften my heart, O Lord. Cleanse my dry eyes with the gift of compassionate tears. Amen.

kerygmafamily.com/modules/dailyreadings/read.php?date=2016-09-07

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September 9, 2015

Wednesday of the 23rd Week in the Ordinary Time

Col 3: 1-11; Lk 6: 20-26

Hunger and Poverty Have No Place in the Kingdom of God

There are more than one billion hungry people in the world according to the latest estimates by the by the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations. The world produces enough food to feed everyone. World agriculture produces 17 percent more calories per person today than it did 30 years ago, despite a 70 percent population increase. This is enough to provide everyone in the world with at least 2,720 kilocalories (kcal) per person per day according to the estimates by FAO.  The principal problem is that many people in the world do not have sufficient income to purchase enough food. Hence poverty and hunger are interrelated. One of the main reasons for poverty and hunger are unequal distribution of the resources and reluctance by people those who enough and excess to share with those who do not have. In spite of having one billion hungry people in the world, 130 core tones of food are wasted in a year according to a news item published in Danik Bhaskar on the World Environment Day 2013. In India one fifth of the food cooked for marriages is being wasted. Wasting food when one billion people starve amounts to a criminal act.

Jesus calls the poor and the hungry blessed in today’s Gospel passage not because poverty and hunger are blessings; both of them are evils to be eradicated from the face of the earth. He calls them blessed because his mission is to create a new situation in which there will be no hunger and poverty and this is what we find in the communities of the early Christians as described in the Acts of the Apostles (Acts 4: 32-36).

Feeding the hungry and healing the sick were two prominent dimensions of Jesus mission of integral liberation of people. At the same time Jesus wanted a radical change in the attitude of the rich. He warned them of terrible consequences if they are not ready to share their resources with the poor. The disciples of Jesus have to adopt a two pronged approach to deal with hunger and poverty. On the one hand they have to motivate and encourage the rich and the well to do to share their resources with the poor and the needy. On the other hand they have to empower the poor by building their capacities as well as enabling them to access their rights to come out of the situation of poverty. Feeding the poor in the literal sense is below human dignity except in the case of people who are incapacitated to work and there is no one to take care of them. Otherwise the approach should be supporting the poor to earn their livelihood and eat with dignity without resorting to begging bowls.  The people who distribute free food may have the satisfaction of doing a great charity, but in that process they are degrading the poor to the status of beggars. Does Jesus, who restored the human dignity of the poor, want us to continue this paternalistic approach? Fr. Jacob Peenikaprambil CMI

navchetana.com/web/homilies.php?date=2015-09-9

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Leap for Joy for Heaven

September 9, 2015 (readings)

Memorial of Saint Peter Claver, Priest

Father Patrick Butler, LC

Luke 6: 20-26

Introductory Prayer: God the Father, thank you for the gift of creation, including my own life. God the Son, thank you for redeeming me at the price of your own Body and Blood. God the Holy Spirit, thank you for being the sweet guest of my soul, enlightening my mind, strengthening my spirit and kindling the fire of your love in my heart.

Petition: Father, help me to seek the things that are above.

  1. Because You Say It, Lord…In this passage, I can picture Jesus raising his eyes to look into the faces of his followers. Today, he looks into my eyes and engages my attention with his loving gaze. I accept what he tells me because it is he who speaks. I believe that he has the words of eternal life. Naturally, poverty, hunger, sorrow and being excluded do not appeal to me, but they are the values of my beloved Lord, and that is enough for me.
  2. Seek First the Kingdom:Jesus encourages me to strive for the values of his Kingdom, to be forgetful of myself and my well-being. He will take care of me and give me recompense. Heaven awaits me – laughter and joy, a fullness that is unfathomable. It is arduous not to seek “heaven on earth” in riches and pleasure and in fitting in with the crowd. It takes a vision of faith and a spirit of perseverance.
  3. Warning Signs:St. Luke transmits to us not only the Beatitudes, but also their opposites. These are like warning signs. If my path is aligned with these opposites, I had better be attentive – where does that road lead me in the long run? Where my heart is, there also is my treasure. Is heavenly, eternal happiness my heart’s desire or are earthly, temporal delights?

Conversation with Christ: Lord, give me the joy of experiencing some of the heavenly joy of being united to you here on earth. Help me to find my fulfillment in loving you, in giving my life to you.

Resolution: I will examine what motivates me in my daily duty, striving to purify my intention. I will act out of love of God and not out of self-love.

epriest.com/reflections/view/507

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Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Reflection for Wednesday September 7, Twenty-third Week in Ordinary Time; Luke 6:20-26

Reflection: What is the main requirement to get closer to Jesus? It’s to suffer for the sake of the advancement of the kingdom of Christ in this world. Without suffering for Christ there would be no intimacy with Jesus.

Many of us are so afraid to suffer for Christ sake because we are selfish. We only think of ourselves and not think of others, we only are concerned of what we can get from this present world and forget about what is after this world.

In the process of our desire to get closer to Jesus many will hate us even distance themselves from us. But what the heck! We have to understand that we don’t live in this world to be in this world. We live in this world now so that we can go to heaven someday.

Our motivation in existing in this world should always be heaven to be with Jesus. Otherwise if our motivation is centered in this world we would never have peace. We may have all the things of this world yet we still will have no peace for there’s an absence of Christ in our lives.

Therefore, let us not be afraid of the challenges that we might face for the sake of advancement the kingdom of God in this world. For this is the reason of our existence in this world. He made us to exist in this world so that we could bring others closer to Jesus.

Have you already suffered for Christ and have you already brought somebody closer to Jesus? If your answer is yes, you are surely blessed! – Marino J. Dasmarinas

mjdasma.blogspot.com/2016/09/reflection-for-wednesday-september-7.html

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September 7, 2016

REFLECTION: Imagine this scenario. Two men happen to guess the number being drawn at the National Lottery. The prize is ten million dollars. So the two men end up with five million dollars each. A substantial sum on any reckoning. Now one of these two men is a multi-billionaire. The five million he won will add about one percent to his present worth. That’s peanuts for him. The other man is a ditch-digger for city sewers. With his backbreaking job he can hardly support his wife and five children. When people hear of the good fortune of these two men, everyone will rejoice over the ditch-digger’s good fortune and will forget about the multi-billionaire. Why? Because it is the ditch-digger who will benefit most from his lottery win. His whole life will be transformed for the better henceforth.

This imagined scenario (which does happen every now and then) can explain why Jesus calls “fortunate” the poor, the hungry, the mourners, etc. It is not because he glorifies these conditions. It is because these conditions will improve drastically with his coming because we, his disciples, will see to it that they improve.

schoolofthewordonline.com/scriptural-library/daily-gospel/english/item/3638-september-7-2016

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Today’s Readings:  Year I,   Year II

Back to: Wednesday of the 23rd Week of the Year

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