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A Reflection on the Gospel Reading for the Sixth Sunday in Ordinary Time (February 17)

Turn the Woes Around

By Walter J. Burghardt, SJ

Blessed, fortunate, happy are you who are rich, rich in money or power, in talent or time, because you can do so much for the poor, can lift the yoke of the oppressed. But blessed only if you have the mind of the poor, the mind of Christ. Only if you recognize that you may not do what you will with what you have. Only if you realize that you are stewards, that whatever you “own” you hold in trust. Only if you employ your power for peace, your wisdom to reconcile, your knowledge to open horizons, your compassion to heal, your hope to destroy despair.

Blessed, fortunate, happy are you who are full now, who are sleek and well-fed, because you are strong enough to feed the hungry, to touch empty stomachs with compassion. But blessed only if you have the mind of the hungry, the mind of Christ. Only if you do not take your food for granted. Only if you are uncomfortable as long as one sister or brother cries in vain for bread or justice or love. Only if you experience your own emptiness – how desperately you need the hungry, how far you still are from God. Blessed are the full, if you are always hungry.

Blessed are you who laugh now, because you can bring the joy of Christ to others, to those whose days are woven of tears. But blessed only if you can laugh at yourselves if you don’t take yourselves too seriously if human living doesn’t revolve around you and your needs, your latest rebuff. Only if you take delight in all God’s creation, in snow and star, in blue marlin and robin redbreast…in the presence of the Trinity within you. Only if laughter means that you let go – let go of all that shackles you to yesterday, to dead hopes, imprisons you in your small selves. Blessed are you because you are free.

Walter Burghardt, SJ (1914-2008), spent much of his career as a scholar of Church history and theology. He was a spellbinding preacher whose powerful calls for social justice and understanding influenced generations of priests and pastors. 2/20/2019

 

The Seraphim Singers 

This concert will present works exploring the voices of women as composers, subjects, storytellers, and poets. The highlight of the concert will be the new work by Richard Clark, Woman of No Distinction, a setting of a poem by Chris Kinsley that tells the story of the Samaritan Woman at the Well in her own voice. 
Friday, March 1, 8:00 p.m. 
St. Cecilia Parish, 18 Belvidere Street, Boston

The Seraphim Singers 
Richard Clark Woman of No Distinction (world premiere)

$22 General Admission / $18 Students & Seniors online or $25/20 at the door

www.seraphimsingers.org 2/20/2019