The 23rd week in ordinary time
Readings: Colossians 3: 1-11 Psalm 145: Luke 6: 20-26
Psalm Response; "The Lord is compassionate toward all His works"
If one professes and is a Christian, Paul outlines the difficulties and the joys of being so!
The Colossians had been part of the pagan culture and were, in the past, immune to the virtues cited in Paul's letter.
Four major sins, included in Paul's litany consisted in their practices before they became aware of their salvation.
Murder, Apostasy, Adultery and Idolatry were considered the norm.
Murder included personal killing but also hatred, indifference and lack of compassion.
Apostasy was rampant because they sacrificed to and adored Adonis, Zeus and a myriad of deities they worshiped.
Adultery meant illicit relationships with beings of both genders; no one was immune!
Idolatry encompassed the love of money, power and esteem. The One God was an aberrant concept.
Paul wanted and instructed them to remain in close contact with the principles he had taught them. Not for personal aggrandizement but to emphasize God's role in their life and practices.
The Psalm tells of God's providence. He never leaves us without then support of His Holy Spirit. At times, we ignore His wise counsel. However, He is compassionate toward all His works.
Luke's beatitudes number four(4) as opposed to Matthew's nine(9). Luke has four(4) contrasting "woes".
If we are truly Christian, we can rejoice when others oppose our principles. The prophets of old were similarly opposed, although they were God's spokespersons.
Don't expect open arms and your disappointments will be nil.
Love God!; Love your neighbor as you love yourself!