A call for transformation

February 13, 2022

Jeremiah paints a beautiful image of a tree by a gentle stream, cool and refreshed no matter the conditions, in describing those who trust in God. Paul echoes that sentiment when he encourages the Corinthians to trust that we will be raised from the dead, to live eternally in the kingdom of God that Jesus promises to the poor in the Gospel. Luke repeatedly stresses how important it was for Jesus to speak to the Farther, to spend time with him in prayer. The night before teaching the Beatitudes Jesus went up a mountain to pray. That morning he gathered his disciples and chose the twelve whom he called his apostles. After this they all came down the mountain and Jesus preached to them, all his disciples, and crowds from around Judea and even outside of Palestine. His words were directed toward Jews and Gentiles alike. But perhaps the final beatitude, the one which he described at length, was directed especially toward the twelve disciples he had just chosen. He knew that they would face hate and insults and they would be excluded or even denounced. This was a way to assure them that God remained always on their side. Just last week we heard Jesus call Peter, James, and John, telling them they would be fishing for other disciples, nor for fish. They left everything behind to follow him. Today we hear Jesus make a different kind of call for transformation. Jesus did not want—nor does God want—those who are prosperous and contented to be comfortable and satisfied with their condition. Misery is sure to come to them. Jesus makes it clear that God blessed those who are hurting. We would be wise to transform out of our complacency, for God’s blessings are stronger than whatever we have gained in this world. Amen.  (Casey, Most Reverend Robert G. Pastoral Patterns. World Library Publication, 2021).

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