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Association of the Miraculous Medal
Weekly Gospel Reflection
Fr. Luke passed away on August 10. Prior to his illness, he had prepared gospel reflections for each Sunday of the Liturgical year. We will continue to share his wisdom and faith.
Besides her great privilege of being the Mother of God, Mary was also her Son’s first disciple. She is often called the Model, or Exemplar of the Church. Following her example, we walk with her through the Gospels as we reflect on her response to God in her life.

February 17, 2019—Sixth Sunday in Ordinary Time

  Luke 6:17, 20-26

Father Oscar Lukefahr, C.M.

In this day and age, “how to instructions” still come with gadgets, appliances, computers, cars, etc. Some of us read the manuals so we know exactly what to do when we start using the item. Others, skip reading the instructions and are able to figure out the product quite quickly. And then there are those who, again, don’t read the directions, and struggle for a long time trying to figure out how to use their new item. If they had only read the manual!

In today’s gospel, you could say that Jesus gave us the manual on becoming a disciple when he gave his sermon. The instructions aren’t about how to get to heaven, or what life will be like in the coming kingdom. But rather, a description of what life will look like if we follow him. Jesus describes how we, as disciples, should try to live each day. His sermon isn’t just about our outward actions and behaviors, but about the attitude of the heart.

Luke 20-26 is about our attitude toward life’s circumstances—four blessings and four woes, similar to Matthew’s account of the Sermon on the Mount from which The Beatitudes come. Each blessing or woe is balanced by a physical condition and its resulting spiritual consequence. The first half of each statement contains a physical condition that many of us might find ourselves in—either because this is what life dealt us or we are in this condition because we have decided to follow Jesus.

Jesus wants us to be happy and content with what we have, and seek first the kingdom of his Father. Any negative circumstance in your life is a doorway to a greater blessing. And the reverse of the blessings are that, if we chase after the things we think will make us happy like riches, popularity, fame, and glory, we will lead an empty and meaningless life if we do not first follow Christ.

I mentioned that Jesus’ sermon contains the directions on how we should be his ideal follower and the attitude of our heart. Do you hear the word “attitude” in “beatitude?” Is this coincidence? E. Stanley Jones, a famous Methodist missionary who converted hundreds of Hindus in India to Christianity said, “The Beatitudes are not a chart for Christian duty. They are a charter for Christian liberty.”

Read last week's reflection.