by Danielle Bean
In today’s Gospel, Jesus shares a pretty challenging teaching:
“Blessed are you when people hate you,
and when they exclude and insult you,
and denounce your name as evil
on account of the Son of Man. Rejoice and leap for joy on that day!
Behold, your reward will be great in heaven” (Luke 6:20-26).
This is not how we humans tend to think about the world. I don’t know about you, but I don’t usually rejoice and leap for joy when people hate me, or when they exclude and insult me.
I had a college professor who used to like to say, “Let me tell you what the meek shall inherit … The meek shall inherit the DIRT!” He was being funny, but I could relate to that idea a lot more readily than I can relate to what Jesus says to us in today’s reading.
Have you ever prayed the Litany of Humility? Many people have difficulty with this challenging prayer. Last year, I committed to praying this prayer every day for the entire year, and that exercise helped me understand something.
In the Litany of Humility, we pray to be delivered from the desire to be loved, to be approved, and to be praised by others. We pray to be delivered from the fear of being hated, humiliated, and rejected. It is only human to want to be loved by others. So, where do we find our downfall? When we place disordered importance on others’ approval, when we worry more about what our fellow human beings think than what God thinks, and when we reject God rather than risk being rejected ourselves.
And that is the challenge that Jesus speaks to our hearts today:
What do you love more than me? What earthly things do you hold onto in place of me, at the expense of your own joy?
How will we answer him?
About the author:
Danielle Bean is the brand manager for CatholicMom.com. She is creator and host of The Gist, a weekly Catholic women’s television talk show on CatholicTV. Danielle is author of several books for women and a popular speaker on a variety of subjects related to Catholic women, family life, parenting, and marriage