Sixth Sunday in Ordinary Time – February 17, 2019

6C19. Jeremiah 17:5-8 & Psalm1. In whom or what is our life rooted: the things and people of this world or in God? If it is in the things or people of this world, then we are “a barren bush in the desert,” cursed, worthless and doomed. If it is in God, there we are like “a tree planted near running water,” fruitful and green.

Luke 6:17, 20-26. Matthew’s beatitudes emphasize the spiritual; whereas Luke’s beatitudes center on one’s immediate earthly situation. It may seem to people who have a worldly perspective on everyday life that what is important is what things and what friends you have that draw admiration from the surrounding world. Being blessed in the sight of this world where in time everything will rot or simply pass away into oblivion is to be cursed by not having what endures through all time. This world obscures and perverts what is truly valuable because its vision is myopic or short-sighted, seeing only what is near and physical and not what is spiritual and eternal. It seems to this world that God sees things in a manner that is upside down and maybe even inside out. However, God is the only measure of what is genuinely true and real. The world’s vision obliterates the truth in order to have whatever pleases it. For the world truth and reality only challenge self-interests and so must be disposed of.

1 Corinthians 15:12, 16-20. Paul writes here to reassert that Jesus physically arose from the dead. Paul is challenging the teaching that some were putting forth that Jesus’ resurrection was only the fact that he is remembered in peoples’ hearts and mind but that Jesus did not actually, physically arise from the dead. This is once again truth and reality seen and rearranged through a worldly vision and not God’s. Paul is clear to point out to the Corinthians that our faith is in a God who has power over death and other natural forces. If Jesus arose only in peoples’ memories, that will be our fate too. However, our faith is in the God who is eternal, on whom time has no bonds. As he is eternal, he shares his never ending life and love with us, his sons and daughters over whom death has no power.