Wednesday, 10 September 2008

My Thoughts on Today's Bible Reading

Today's reading from the gospel of Luke is another list of beatitudes (which literally means happiness or blessedness). Unlike the one from Matthew, this one is shorter and has a list of Woe's.

Looking at all the beatitudes, it seems that access to heaven is restricted to a certain class of people, i.e. the poor. In other words, the rich Christian has no chance of going to Heaven. This reading of the beatitudes is incorrect. After all Jesus came to save all humankind, regardless of any manner of stratification. It is more accurate to say that those who are too much concerned with this world (its ambitions, power struggle, rat race, divisions, desires, etc.) find it more difficult to enter Heaven. For the ways of the world are not God's ways. How can one approach God then if one identifies oneself with the world? Thus emptying oneself of all that would shut God out of one's heart is necessary to approach the kingdom of God. And the ways of the world influences people to forget about God and His ways.

St. Paul has a similar message in his letter to the Corinthians. If you know that Jesus would come for you tomorrow what would you do today? Would you marry? Leave your spouse? Would you mourn over losses? Rejoice that you have gained something? Buy more possessions? Chase after worldly possession and recognition? Eat and drink some more? None of the above matters in Jesus' kingdom. So why do them on that day? Let's think about things we would do if we were in the above situation and do them every day.


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