Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, we read this Sunday from Saint Luke’s Gospel about Jesus Christ giving the sermon on the plain. This is the first message that the Twelve Apostles hear Jesus preach after He had selected them to be Apostles. And in this sermon, Jesus levels so many of our preconceptions (Luke 6:17, 20-26). Indeed, He declares blessed the poor, the hungry, the weeping, and the hated – for these are the children of God who know that they are in need of the Redeemer, Jesus Christ. These children are blessed because their hearts cry out in longing and expectation for what
can only be satisfied by God the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Conversely, the rich, the self-satisfied, complacent, and the superficially popular are those whose hearts turn away from the Lord by indulging in finite things, indulging in alluring things insufficient to the heart. Blessed are they who trust not in themselves, but trust in the Lord by refusing to become discouraged by their own fragility, limitation, and need. God calls me blessed when I hope not in myself, but in Him, in the Lord. This hope in God is, in fact, an indisputable sign that Jesus Christ has been crucified and is risen from the dead.
Christians, disciples of Jesus Christ, have their hope in God (Father Francis Fernandez, In Conversation with God). As Christians, Catholic and protestant, we know and accept our own weakness and do not depend inordinately on our own resources. We know that in any undertaking we must use all the human means open to us, but that above all we must rely on God’s grace, His strength, and that we must turn to Him in prayer. This takes humility, which is foundational to our relationship with God. Humility helps us to know and accept joyfully that everything good that we have we have received from God. Humility is not a matter of despising ourselves, because God does not despise us, the work of His hands. Simply put, humility consists in getting the right order of Jesus, Others, Yourself – “forgetting” ourselves and sincerely thinking about others. Such interior simplicity leads us to be aware that we are children of God. Saint Josemaría Escrivá has stated: “At the very moment when everything seems to be collapsing before our eyes, we realize that quite the opposite is the case, ‘for You, Lord, are my strength’ (Psalm 42:2). If God is dwelling in our soul, everything else, no matter how important it may seem, is accidental and transitory, whereas we, in God, stand permanent and firm” (Friends of God, #42). In the midst of our frailty, in whatever form our weakness presents itself, we turn by God’s grace to His mercy, and we take our stand together for life, in faith, hope and love, in God’s infinite, indestructible strength and firmness, His infinite mercy and love.
With peace and prayers in Christ,