Are we in the Church like those fellows in Jesus’ parable today: the blind leading the blind? Are we in the Church simply hoodwinking ourselves? Are we, as some would say, a collection of poor individuals so insecure that we cling on to the merest hope of something beyond this world? Our detractors say that we are deceiving ourselves.
We are presented for consideration today one of the very hardest of Jesus’ commands: "Love your enemies". This injunction comes in the very first sentence of today’s text and the rest of the extract is could be regarded as simply a commentary on it.
There are two quite different accounts of the Beatitudes in the Gospels, one in Matthew and the other one presented to us today in the Gospel of Luke. The one more usually quoted is Matthew’s version while the set given to us by St Luke is much less well known.
This is the first account of Jesus actually teaching the people as recorded in the Gospel of Luke. He has already been baptised, he has been tempted in the wilderness, he was rejected in the synagogue of Nazareth, he has exorcised a demon from a man possessed and he healed many sick people including Simon Peter’s mother-in-law. The last line of the previous chapter does tell us that Jesus was preaching in the synagogues of Judea, but here by Lake Galilee is the first occasion when we are told that he is directly teaching the people, although it will be a while yet before we are told the actual content of his teaching.
Father Alex McAllister SDS
Parish Priest of
St Thomas à Becket