Many years ago now I attended a seminar presented by Sr Sandra Schneiders a spiritual writer and theologian from the US. I can't remember a lot about the seminar but my song 'There is no distance' featured in today's sharing was inspired by her talk. Click on the title highlighted and you will be able to listen to the song. Scroll down to track 11.
No distance at all
Between the ear of God
And the cry of the poor
God is attuned to the weak, the vulnerable, the dispossessed, the homeless, all those who cry out in desperation. We can see those faces walking down the street, on our TV screens and devices, we hear stories and situations in people's lives and we can experience it ourselves sometimes. Resilience is a word we hear a lot about today. Our youth project in Auckland 'Logos' thankfully focusses on building up resilience in the young people they work with especially faced with the challenges of our times.
In today's Gospel (Luke 6:17, 20-26) Jesus fixes his eyes on his disciples and says,
How happy are you who are poor, yours is the Kingdom of God
Happy are you who are hungry now: you shall be satisfied
Happy are you who weep now: you shall laugh.
It's his ears attuned and his gaze that burns into the hearts of his disciples because he is on their side. He knows them, he understands their lives and what they have to deal with, he extends to them such love and tenderness. I imagine him saying, 'You are the ones I have come into this world for'. One gets the sense that he empowers his disciples when he teaches them the Beatitudes. He turns the prevailing world view where the rich and powerful are seen as the blessed ones upside down.
May we be empowered by the Beatitudes today and be empowered for all those who have little say, few options and find life a real struggle. And for all those who with big hearts stand in solidarity with the poor thank you for witnessing to the dream of Jesus.