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Theology for the common man

6th Sunday in Ordinary Time C

Sunday, February 17, 2019

Today's Sunday readings invite us to find a true happiness, which consists of trusting in God in every day, especially when we face various misfortunes that not always are related to wealth and comfort. The readings remind that the biblical criterion of happiness is closeness to God, and not wealth and comfort, as the world evaluates them as such. The refrain of the Psalm emphasizes this very clearly: “Blessed are they who hope in the Lord”. The first reading introduces us to a theme of a happiness and unhappiness which a man can meet in his life. Everything is up to the source on which he builds his life. If this source is God, everything that happens to him receives a good result, even if there are some problems related to the suffering and pain that do not coincide with the values of this earth. The prophet Jeremiah speaks straight about a blessing of those people who trust in God. The prophet compares their situation to “a tree planted beside the water that stretches out its roots to the stream: it fears not the heat when it comes; its leaves stay green; in the year of drought it shows no distress, bur still bears fruit”. Totally opposite is the situation of those people who put their trust in people and in their earthly values, turning of their head from God. Jeremiah calls them “cursed” and compares them to “a barren bush in the desert that enjoys no change of season, but stands in a lava waste, a salt and empty earth”. On this background, Jesus can now proclaim his manifest of a blessings and curses. He praises the people who in their humility and poverty can build their life on God, even if this life is often manifest by hunger, weeping, hatred and exclusion from the community. He blames yet those who think they are safe in their life because of themselves, it means, of their richness, self-satisfaction, self-perfection. The situation of both, in time, will be at the resurrection of the dead, at the end of times, in the light of the death and resurrection of Jesus. The first ones will receive eternal sadness and dissatisfaction, and the last ones will gain the eternal Kingdom which will satisfy all their needs.