This week’s Gospel makes me feel a little guilty. I am a nun, but I have a comfortable life. Today we hear Luke’s version of the Beatitudes: “Blessed are you who are poor for the kingdom of God is yours.” And that is paired with “Woe to you who are rich, for you have received your consolation.” Is Jesus elevating one social economic class — and not mine — above another? Biblical scholars note a couple things. “You/yours” is not directed at individuals but at the community, and “blessed” means a people who are in right relationship with God, or who already possess the kingdom! By contrast, a people becomes “rich” when they get trapped by the allures before them, which feels really, really good but which causes them to lose their way, forget whose they are, and harden their hearts toward those in need. Today’s political commentary is often fraught, but sometimes I am heartened by hearing all sides agree that compassion needs to be part of solutions, and that we citizens of the biggest superpower have a leadership role to play in a world where right relationships with God and each other are sorely needed. So maybe our Gospel call this week is not to inspect our wealth. Maybe it is to consider: How am I influencing decisions that could lead to right relationships or blessedness, in all the communities I am part of?
– Blog entry by Sister Mary Garascia