Blessed Are the Poor!

Luke 6:20

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.

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Mark P. Shea is a popular Catholic writer and speaker. The author of numerous books, his most recent work is The Work of Mercy (Servant) and The Heart of Catholic Prayer (Our Sunday Visitor). Mark contributes numerous articles to many magazines, including his popular column “Connecting the Dots” for the National Catholic Register. Mark is known nationally for his one minute “Words of Encouragement” on Catholic radio. He also maintains the Catholic and Enjoying It blog and regularly blogs for National Catholic Register. He lives in Washington state with his wife, Janet, and their four sons.

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