Wednesday of the Twenty-third Week in Ordinary Time

Wednesday of the Twenty-third Week in Ordinary Time
Luke 6:20-26

“Woe to you when all speak well of you.”

“Woe to you when all speak well of you.”  These words of Jesus seem at first hard to reconcile with the honors we confer on the canonized saints of the Church.  If we took the words of Jesus literally, then the praise given the saints would be wrong.  Then again, what of our speaking well of Christ Himself, and praising Him?  We don’t doubt that we ought to praise Christ, but given that fact, how do we understand His words in today’s Gospel passage?

What Jesus teaches in this passage—and in all the Lucan Beatitudes—is that a Christian can only find consolation in one place:  within the Holy Spirit.  None of the things which Jesus preaches against is bad.  Money, food, laughter, and praise are all good things.  The evil which distorts and perverts these good things, however, is the temptation to rest in them:  that is, to believe that these things can make us happy for any longer than a mere moment.

It is when we root good things such as money or praise within our earthly selves that they become that source of evil that Christ is preaching against.  May the grace of the sacraments help us to offer all our pleasures in life to God, and admit that none of them can save us from being rooted in this world.