LITURGY

Sixth Sunday Year C

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WORD OF GOD
But alas for you who are rich: you are having your consolation now.
(Luke 6:24)

WORD FOR TODAY
It’s easy to forget that whatever we have today, houses, cars, possessions etc, are only temporary. They do not last; but we do, forever. And the way we use what we own in this world affects us for eternity.

WORDS FOR WORSHIP
Let us pray for the Church throughout the world that it may be a living sign of the beatitudes and may bring relief and hope to those who now suffer but who one day will see the face of God.
In your loving kindness, Lord:Hear and grant our prayer.
On this Day of Unemployment let us pray for those who are out of work, that they may find fulfilment in using the talents that God has given to them and my retain their dignity as children of God in the face of hardship and rejection.
In your loving…
For those of our parish in need, for the long-term sick and those who care for them, for those suffering from seasonal illnesses and complaints, for those undergoing domestic problems and for those in any kind of trouble.
In your loving…
Let us pray for ourselves that in the midst of our daily lives we may never become so self-sufficient that we lose sight of our need for God.
In your loving…

FAITH IN FOCUS: KEEPING THE BALANCE
It’s a tightrope. It really is. We have to walk the rope without falling off one side or the other. And today Jesus tells us that we are happy, fortunate and blessed if we manage to get the balance right.
The beatitudes are the most phenomenal promises ever made. If you are poor then you will own the kingdom of God; if at present you are experiencing hunger you will achieve complete satisfaction; if you weep now you will laugh forever. And so on.
To believe in these promises means you are either deeply committed to the gospel message or you are mad. There can be no in-between. And that’s where it starts to get difficult in daily life.
What do we do? How do we live our daily life, earning and trying to prosper, when we also want to remain poor enough to have a share in the kingdom of God? How do we enjoy a really good meal when we are told that it is the hungry who will be satisfied? And how do we reconcile our belly laughs with the knowledge that those who mourn and weep are the ones who are praised by Jesus?
You can see why many people who listened to Jesus preaching about the beatitudes were singularly unimpressed. It’s counter-cultural: it goes against everything that our world and society stands for and it asks us to refocus and downsize the values that we are supposed to take for granted and aspire to. So they simply wrote him off.
What the beatitudes remind us is that there is more to life than this world. This does not mean that we should not try to eradicate poverty. Nor does it mean that we should ask starving people to embrace their hunger and oppressed nations to stop their mourning and weeping. And it doesn’t mean that our laughter, feasting and prosperity are wrong.
But what the beatitudes ask of us is that we view our lives under the microscope of eternity. All our actions here and now are to be weighed against what will become of us in perpetuity. If we come down too heavily on the laughing and feasting, we’ll be neglecting our deeper reasons for being on this earth. And if we keep our eyes glued on the clouds of heaven, then we’ll end up missing out on this wonderful life. It’s a tightrope!

 

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