September 12, 2018
23rd Week in Ordinary Time
1st Reading: 1Cor 7:25-31
Gospel: Luke 6:20-26
Lifting up his eyes to his disciples, Jesus said,
“Fortunate are you who are poor, the kingdom of God is yours.
“Fortunate are you who are hungry now, for you will be filled.
“Fortunate are you who weep now, for you will laugh.
“Fortunate are you when people hate you, when they reject you and insult you and number y ou among criminals, because of the Son of Man. Rejoice in that day and leap for joy, for a great reward is kept for you in heaven. Remember that is how the ancestors of this people treated the prophets.
“But alas for you who have wealth, for you have been comforted now.
“Alas for you who are full, for you will go hungry.
“Alas for you who laugh now, for you will mourn and weep.
“Alas for you when people speak well of you, for that is how the ancestors of these people treated the false prophets.”
(Daily Gospel in the Assimilated Life Experience)
Today’s Gospel repeats the word “Alas”. Card players love this word because it is the same term used for an ace. An ace carries highest value and brings victory in most games. Some games, however, assign lowest value to it. In “piyat-piyat”, for example, an “alas” is a curse because it is assigned the lowest value among all the cards.
As in card games, we have to be careful with our aces in life especially if we do not know the kind of game we play. Those whose aces are material wealth should play the game of charity. Jesus had advised his followers to use filthy wealth to win friends (Luke 16:9). If used to improve the lives of others, material wealth translates to aces that bring heavenly blessings. Games other than charity take the ace-bearing player to damnation because material wealth weighs the soul down.
Today’s Gospel reading uses the word “Fortunate” to describe those who enjoy God’s blessings. This word, however, shares the same root word with “fortune” which brings in the concept of luck. This makes the word “fortunate” misleading. It can lead people into thinking that a Christian garners blessings out of pure luck. Wrong. Blessings come out of God’s unilateral generosity.
he word “blessed” as used in other translations of today’s Gospel reading is more appropriate in referring to those who enjoy God’s favor. It describes better the privileged position of those who put their trust in the Lord and rely on his benediction.
“Alas” and “Fortunate”. Two contrasting words representing two diverging roads. Those trekking the former can still be victorious if they play the right game. Those trekking the latter can still lose if they rely upon pure luck. – (Atty.) Rev. Fr. Dan Domingo P. delos Angeles, Jr., D.M. Email: email@example.com.
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