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Gospel for Sunday, February 13 Luke 6: 17. 20-26

VI Sunday C

17Having descended with them, he stopped in a flat place. There was a large crowd of his disciples and a great multitude of people from all Judea, from Jerusalem and from the coast of Tire and Sidon… 20Looking up at his disciples, Jesus said: “Blessed are you poor, for yours is the kingdom of God. 21Blessed are you who are hungry now, for you will be satisfied. Blessed are you who cry now, for you will laugh.22Blessed are you when men hate you and when they banish you and revile you and reject your name as wicked, because of the Son of man. 23Rejoice on that day and rejoice, for, behold, your reward is great in heaven. In fact, their fathers did the same thing with the prophets. 24But woe to you, rich people, because you already have your consolation. 25Woe to you who are now full, for you will be hungry. Woe to you who laugh now, for you will be afflicted and weep. 26Woe to you when all men speak well of you. For in the same way their fathers did with the false prophets.”

Luke 6: 17. 20-26

Dear Sisters and Brothers of the Misericordie, I am Carlo Miglietta, doctor, biblical scholar, layman, husband, father and grandfather (

Also today I share with you a short meditation thought on the Gospel, with special reference to the theme of mercy.


Ladies, you’ve gone too far this time! But have you looked around carefully? You say “blessed” (“makarioi”), that is, the poor of the whole earth are full of divine happiness (Gospel: Luke 6.20): and not the usual “poor in spirit”, as we soon say, referring to Matthew (Mt 5,3), but the “poor-poor”: your Gospel uses the term “ptochòs”, poor, which derives from “ptòsso”, accatto (!) and translates Hebrew words with very concrete meanings: “ani”: l ‘oppressed, the landless; “dal”: the weak, the one who doesn’t count socially; “‘ebjon”: the beggar, the homeless; “rash”: the needy; “misken”: the mean, belonging to lower classes.

You present material poverty to us as blessed: but they seem really happy, so loved by God, those who own nothing, the homeless, the “street children”, those who die on boats trying to cross the sea, the Syrians massacred by the war , the Indians exterminated in Brazil, the Kurds without a country, the caravans of refugees on the border between Mexico and the United States, the irregular immigrants crowded into dilapidated attics, those slaughtered by the fanaticism of ISIS, those who have no home, who do not have the freedom? You proclaim the hungry to be blessed, “peinòn” (Lk 6,21), in Hebrew “rà’èb”: they are not those who have an appetite, but those who do not have the minimum to live, the “hungry”: are you sure that they are happy are the thousands of people who die of hunger every day, the millions who every day search in city landfills or waste bins for the essentials to survive, the inhabitants of favelas and slums all over the planet, gripped by the cramps of a atavistic hunger, the beggars for a piece of bread? And you say blessed are the afflicted, “pèntoi”, in Hebrew “‘ebel”, those who are so distressed that their pain explodes outside: “those who cry” (“klaìontes”: Luke 6.21). What bliss do you find in the mother who mourns her four-year-old son who died of leukemia, in the wife betrayed by her husband, in the little girl abused by her uncle, in the person condemned to capital punishment, in the psychiatric patient, prisoner of his ghosts, in the neoplastic patient, who moans hopeless? And then, allow me, Lord: why should your Church be blessed when “hated, banished, insulted and rejected as wicked” (Lk 6:22), and not when your message is accepted by all, your ministers venerated as “excellencies”, “eminences”, “holiness”, the dominant “Christian culture”, abundant economic resources for evangelization, the mass media in our hands? Be patient, but those against whom you cast your “troubles” (“vae”) appear blessed to us: the rich, the satisfied, those who laugh, a Church of which everyone speaks well (Lk 6,24-26).. .

We can’t bear this great Revolution that you still propose to us today. And if all the poor and suffering of the earth today can rejoice because you, the first and only one in history, have truly proclaimed their definitive liberation, which begins now and which will eternalize in your Kingdom, for us, who now “already have our consolation ” (Lk 6.24), it seems too harsh that in this immense “Purim”, reversal of fortunes, we are beholden to curse and ruin (Jer 17.5-8; Ps 1). Your terrible “troubles” sound like the harshest condemnation of our social inequalities and at the same time they are an invitation to a strong conversion to always be on the side of the poor, the least, the oppressed, the excluded, in the real sharing of goods and experience of suffering, according to the community ideal that you propose to us in Luke (Acts 2.42-47; 4.32-37): they are the call to make us like you, Jesus (the Beatitudes “are a kind of self-portrait” : Veritatis splendor, n. 16…), the Poor God (Lk 2,11-12), Meek (Mt 11,29), Persecuted (Mk 3,21), Disfigured by suffering (Mt 27) as we contemplate on Cross, but which in the triumph of the Resurrection redeems all poverty, all pain, all fear, all anguish, all illness, and death itself!

We should really listen to your Pope Francis who tells us: “Jesus’ words… go very against the current of what is usual, what is done in society…; the world takes us towards another lifestyle. The Beatitudes are in no way something light or superficial; on the contrary, we can only live them if the Holy Spirit pervades us with all his power and frees us from the weakness of selfishness, laziness and pride. Let’s go back to listening to Jesus, with all the love and respect that the Master deserves. Let us allow him to strike us with his words, to provoke us, to call us to a real change in life. Otherwise holiness will only be words” (Gaudete et exsultate, nn. 65-66).

Happy Mercy to all!

Anyone who would like to read a more complete exegesis of the text, or some insights, please ask me at


Spazio Spadoni

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