And He lifted up His eyes on His disciples, and said: “Blessed are you poor, for yours is the kingdom of God.”
One of the early public reactions to the Apostles was the complaint (or was it the praise?) that they “turned the world upside down” (Acts 17:6). Today’s gospel shows why and how they did it: for their Master literally turned upside down our entire perception of success and failure. The blessed are the poor, hungry, weeping, excluded, and persecuted. The pitiable are the rich, full, sated, and popular. Not exactly the People Magazine philosophy of life! Yet when we compare the joy of the poor and hungry St. Francis with the ruthless, sleepless, unsmiling concentration on self of your average rich and prideful media tycoon, we find we’d rather be a doorkeeper in the House of the Lord, than dwell in the palace of the tycoon.