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Invitation to Happiness

 

In today’s gospel we hear what appears to be Luke’s account of the Beatitudes we read in Mark’s gospel and know so well. When we listen to these statements they seem to be a contradiction, the poor are happy, the rich to be condemned. So the question to be asked - is this teaching relevant in the modern world?

Money and riches are seen as a sign of success and a reward for good living. So Luke sets the scene for this teaching. Two specific groups of people were present, a large number of disciples, who had made the commitment to follow Jesus, along with a great crowd of people from all parts of the countryside who had come to hear him speak. These had not yet made the same commitment but were drawn into Jesus presence. It is to his disciples that Jesus addresses his teaching but in doing so he also invites all of the others to find the joy that awaits them if they embrace his words and live them out. Jesus is also speaking to us and inviting us to look at the modern society in which we live where the rich get richer and the poor get poorer, where war and conflict are prominent and happiness in the true sense is a distant thought. Happiness can often be confused with contentment and having a good time, but true happiness will only be found in the things that meet our deepest needs as a person, and those things are to be found in God. If we can find and embrace these things and spread them throughout our modern world, then everyone will be able to enjoy the peace and happiness of the Kingdom of God.

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