It’s easy to forget, when everything is going well, that life has its share of sorrows. When I’m at my happiest, enjoying time with friends, someone I know and love may be suffering. When others are full of joy, I may be grieving. Life is full of ups and downs. We all experience happiness as well as sadness. We experience comfort as well as pain. Though we may be filled and satisfied today, we may feel empty and disconsolate tomorrow.
I’ve been thinking about the highs and lows of life over the past few days, so today’s Gospel reading, from Luke 6: 20-26, really hit home with me. Most people are familiar with the Sermon on the Mount in Matthew, but not everyone knows the Sermon on the Plain in Luke. The two are actually the same (those who have visited the Holy Land understand how a mount and a plain can be one in the same); however Luke adds more of Jesus’ teachings to his telling. In Luke, Jesus continues his sermon by saying,
But woe to you who are rich,
for you have received your consolation.
But woe to you who are filled now,
for you will be hungry.
Woe to you who laugh now,
for you will grieve and weep.
Of course, the Fathers of the Church, those who decided on the rotation of the daily Mass readings, had no way of knowing that I needed this reminder today, but the Holy Spirit works in ways we aren’t meant to understand. I needed to know that sometimes laughter can be turned into sorrow because it reminds me that often, pain can lead to joy, tragedy can lead to good, a brick wall can lead to a new start on a new road. Read more