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  • Writer's pictureDavid Carlson

947: You cannot be a Christian without practicing the Beatitudes - Francis

Day 947: Wednesday, October 19, 2022

You cannot be a Christian without practicing the Beatitudes

The good news for the 30th Sunday in Ordinary Time:

When the Pharisees heard that Jesus had silenced the Sadducees,

they gathered together, and one of them, a scholar of the law tested him by asking,

"Teacher, which commandment in the law is the greatest?"

He said to him,

"You shall love the Lord, your God,

with all your heart,

with all your soul,

and with all your mind.

This is the greatest and the first commandment.

The second is like it:

You shall love your neighbor as yourself.

The whole law and the prophets depend on these two commandments."

The message in the gospel for the 30th Sunday in Ordinary Time is sometimes a hard one for me to hear. It’s all about humility and I’m the first to admit I can be very full of myself. From the first line I can hear Jesus talking to me:

“Jesus addressed this parable to those who were convinced of their own righteousness and despised everyone else.”

How often am I the prideful one who needs to be knocked down a peg or two?

In 2016, Pope Francis spoke with a group of young people who asked what the greatest sin is. His answer reiterates the lesson in Jesus’ parable.

“You cannot be a Christian without living like a Christian,” the Holy Father said. “You cannot be a Christian without practicing the Beatitudes. You cannot be a Christian without doing what Jesus teaches us in Matthew 25,” which is to feed the hungry, clothe the naked and welcome the stranger.

“It’s hypocrisy to call yourself a Christian and chase away a refugee or someone seeking help, someone who is hungry or thirsty, toss out someone who is in need of my help,” Pope Francis said. “If I say I am Christian, but do these things, I’m a hypocrite.”

St. Francis was also known for his humility. In his own opinion, he was nothing but a sinner, keeping in mind only his failings. There was nothing fake about his humility. In the Second Life of St. Francis, Thomas of Celano writes, "There was no covetousness in him except the desire to become better, and not content with what he had, he sought to add new virtues."

How often do we defend our prideful thoughts and actions, thinking that our way is the “right” way? It’s not easy to set aside our feelings in order to look more closely at the migrants being bused from border states to cities far and wide. To see them as human beings, fleeing danger in their home countries.

To empathize with their plight. Jesus never said following him would be easy. He calls us to do just that in the gospel this week: “...for whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and the one who humbles himself will be exalted."

Reflection for the 30th Sunday in Ordinary Time by Janine Walsh, Franciscan Action Network Communications Coordinator

Announcement and Links from FutureChurch

Thank you for joining us for this three-week study of synodality. We loved being with you as we all learned more about how to shift the culture of the Catholic Church from one of hierarchicalism and clericalism to one of co-responsibilly for discernment and decision making with laity and ordained. Our three featured speakers -- Sr. Donna Ciangio, Kelly Meraw, and Prof. Kristin Colberg -- inspired us and gave us many creative ideas for how to go forward in our own parishes and communities.

Please don't forget to join us for our November 10th event with Prof. Rafael Luciani, the author of the book we used for this series. Synodality: A New Way of Proceeding in the Church offered us the theological foundation for the practical work we will all undertake.

Here is the video featuring Vatican consultant, Prof. Kristin Colberg.

Here is the FutureChurch powerpoint for Chapters 9 & 10.

Here are some of your responses to what you learned and what you need as we go forward shifting the culture.

FutureChurch will be offering more resources and gatherings as we move forward in this synodal process. Stay tuned!

With blessings abundant,

Russ Petrus l Deborah Rose Co-Directors, FutureChurch

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