This week’s gospel is the Sermon on the Mount…or the teachings of the Beatitudes. At first review, they seem contradictory (if not silly) in the 21st century. But, like God, the Beatitudes are forever old…and forever new and renewing. These beatitudes will make saints of us…if we want to be saints.
It’s one thing to have, it’s another to hoard. It’s one thing to need, it’s another to want what we really do not need. It’s one thing to share, it’s another to share without compassion or empathy. Like the pastor, Martin Luther King, Jr., once said that it’s one thing to throw a coin to a beggar and just walk away, and another to sit down with that beggar and come to know that beggar as a person.
Paul’s call to unity is not just a call to solidarity with fellow Christians and human beings, but a call to communion with Jesus, His words, His message, and His outlook and hope for all people and the future of all creation, so that encounters with Christian disciples is an encounter with the divine in Jesus, with all the power of the hope, compassion and reconciliation it brings.
Ever notice that there never seems to be enough when Thanksgiving Day begins, but there’s multiple “care-packages” of sliced turkey, stuffing, pie and cookies always ready to take with us when the feast is over and we are on our way.
There will never be enough time, money, food or possessions to accomplish the things we want to do with the life we have, but as Robert Schuller once said during one of his famous ‘Hour of Power’ Sunday TV worship series: “It’s one thing to have tried to climb the highest mountain and failed, than never have tried at all, and succeeded in not trying.”
The Prophet, the Apostle Paul, and the Jesus Himself, all challenge us not to put limits on our abilities, our fortunes, our hopes and our dreams. They all remind us that all we do is to be caught up in the mystery, the plan of God – that each one of us, no matter who we are, are essential to God’s hopes for all of us.