14th February: 6th Sunday of Ordinary Time
Jeremiah 17: 5-8
Psalm 1 1-4, 6 ; R 39:5
1 Corinthians 15: 12, 16-20
Luke 6: 17, 20-26
The first reading, from Jeremiah, reminds us to put our faith in the Lord, not in works of man, and on “things of the flesh,” which are arid, like dry scrub in the wilderness. Instead, we are advise to put our trust in the Lord, for then we “will have no worries in a year of drought, and will never cease to bear fruit.”
These are wise words indeed, but we could also do well to remember that works of the flesh are not the only works of man. Sadly, the same can be said of the institutional church, which in its teaching on sexuality is also arid and devoid of life giving sustenance. However, if we pay attention instead to the words and example of Christ himself, and develop through our prayer life a personal relationship with Him, we too can find a source of life-giving nourishment, and “shall never cease to bear fruit”.
“Happy the man who has placed his trust in the Lord” (from the responsorial psalm).
The Gospel of the day is Luke’s counterpart to the renowned Sermon on the Mount. For those of us so often unjustly condemned by the Church for living honestly with the sexual or gender identity given to us, the central verse is especially signifcant:
“Happy are you when people hate you, drive you out, abuse you, denounce your name as criminal, on account of the Son of Man. Rejoice when that day comes and dance for joy, for then your reward will be great in heaven.”
For a more extended discussion on today’s gospel from the perspective which is both gay and catholic, see Gosple for gays, where Jeremmiah (quite rightly) calls his post, “Blessed Are You!”
He came down with them and stood on a level place, with a great crowd of his disciples and a great multitude of people from all Judea, Jerusalem, and the coast of Tyre and Sidon…. Then he looked up at his disciples and said: “Blessed are you who are poor, for yours is the kingdom of God. Blessed are you who are hungry now, for you will be filled. Blessed are you who weep now, for you will laugh. Blessed are you when people hate you, and when they exclude you, revile you, and defame you on account of the Son of Man. Rejoice in that day and leap for joy, for surely your reward is great in heaven; for that is what their ancestors did to the prophets. But woe to you who are rich, for you have received your consolation. Woe to you who are full now, for you will be hungry. Woe to you who are laughing now, for you will mourn and weep. Woe to you when all speak well of you, for that is what their ancestors did to the false prophets.” Luke 6, 17; 20-26. Gospel for Sunday, February 14.