Blessed are you when people hate you on account of the son of man. Rejoice and leap for joy, for behold, your reward is great in heaven.
you challenge the powers that rule this world and you show favour to the oppressed:
instil in us a true sense of justice,
that we may discern the signs of your kingdom
and strive for right to prevail;
for the sake of Jesus Christ our Lord,
who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, forever and ever. Amen.
- Jeremiah 17:5 – 10
- Psalm 1
- 1 Corinthians 15:12 – 20
- Luke 6:17 – 26
- Genesis 45:3 – 11, 15
- Psalm 37:1 – 11, 40 – 41
- 1 Corinthians 15:35 – 50
- Luke 6:27 – 38
Epiphany 6 – Luke 6:17 – 26
In Matthew’s Sermon on the Mount, Jesus speaks of “Beatitudes” but in Luke’s sermon on the plain, Jesus drops a series of bombshells. He takes the accepted standards of the times and turns them upside down. To those who are considered to be the “haves” of society, Jesus warns “woe to you” – wealth and power are not the stuff of the kingdom of God, but to the “have nots” Jesus says, “happy and blessed are you” – love, humble selflessness, compassion and generosity are the treasures of God’s realm. Jesus promises his followers poverty, suffering, persecution and grief – but is there hope in God we will be rewarded with perfect and complete joy.
This will be a constant theme throughout Luke’s Gospel. Jesus teaches that wealth and power are not the stuff of the reign of God. But humility, selflessness and compassion are the treasures of God’s kingdom.
In the sermon on the plane, Jesus challenges us to put aside the “woe” of self-centredness and embrace the “blessedness” that can only be experienced by seeing ourselves not as the centre of the world but as a means for transforming the world for the “blessedness” of all.
Luke’s version of the Beatitudes challenges everything our consumer oriented society holds dear. While wealth, power and celebrity are the sought-after prizes of our world, the treasures of God reign are love, humble selflessness, compassion and generosity. In freeing ourselves from the pursuit of the things of this world, we liberate ourselves to seek the lasting things of God. © Connections/Media Works
Bishop Jeremy James preaches from the text after the gospel reading.