The Beatitudes

By Fr. Dan De Los Angeles September 11,2019
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The Beatitudes

By Fr. Dan De Los Angeles September 11,2019
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Wednesday,
September 11, 2019
23rd Week in
Ordinary Time
1st Reading: Col 3: 1-11
Gospel: Luke 6:20-26
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 you 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.”
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(Daily Gospel in the Assimilated Life Experience)

While today’s Gospel repeats the word “fortunate” a number of times, with the same frequency it also repeats the word “alas”. While “alas” is an exclamation expressing pity, concern, or apprehension of evil, most gamblers interpret its meaning as referring to an ace card. As such it is associated with luck. Gamblers are however aware that ace cards do not always bring victory. It all depends on the kind of card game you play. There are card games that assign lowest value to an ace, such as the game called “piyat-piyat”. The moral is: Be careful with your “aces” especially if you do not know the kind of game you play.

Taking our reflection to the spiritual level we have reasons to worry if our aces consist chiefly of material wealth. Recall the Gospel story of the rich young man who could not give up his wealth. He was already gaining altitude in spirituality in fulfilling all the commandments. Still material wealth succeeded to pull him down. That’s how heavy to the soul earthly treasures are.

But we hasten to clarify that material wealth is not totally irrelevant to salvation. Jesus himself coached his followers in this wise: “I tell you, use worldly wealth to gain friends for yourselves” (Lk. 16:9). This principle is a good guide in interpreting what Jesus meant when he said: “Whoever doesn’t renounce all that he has can’t be my disciple” (Luke 14:33). The words renounce, pronounce and denounce share the same last syllable. To pronounce is to declare something; to denounce is to declare something against a particular person or thing; to renounce is to “re- declare”. Of worldly possessions we only need to re-declare them as subject not of our ownership but of stewardship. It is this attitude that brings real fortune. Alas for those who hold the contrary! – (Atty.) Rev. Fr. Dan Domingo P. delos Angeles, Jr., D.M.

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