Wednesday, 23rd Week in Ordinary Time—Year I

In the Gospel Jesus speaks of how great reversals are coming. The poor will become rich, and the rich will be poor. The hungry will be satisfied, and the stomachs of those now feasting will ache. The weeping will find joy, while those joyful will be sad. And those who are persecuted for Christ’s sake will have great rewards.

Does any of this apply to you? Yes, for example, life in the world out there will be very different from these years you’ve spent in school. If you feel like you are among the poor, the hungry, and the weeping at school, take encouragement, because great reversals are coming.

Blessed are you who are poor at sports,
for you perfect more-valuable talents.

Sports are fun, and they are good for building health and character, but ten years from now no one will remember who won at state last year. And it is extremely unlikely that anyone here has a future in professional sports ahead of them. Maybe nobody buys a ticket to come and watch and cheer you using your God-given talents, when you write a paper well, or solve a math problem efficiently. But in the world out there, there are people who will pay tens of thousands of dollars a year to people who have perfected skills like these.

Blessed are you who are poor at sports,
for you perfect more-valuable talents.

Blessed are you who hunger for romantic relationship, but who date little,
for God is preparing a spouse for you.

Realize that it is very unlikely that you ever marry any significant other whom you might have now. Young dating relationships begin and break all the time, but the sometimes wounds they can leave to one’s spirit and to one’s emotions often linger long. You may hunger for romantic relationship now, but if you feast on love before its time your stomach will ache painfully tomorrow. Somewhere out there, God has a future spouse in mind as a gift meant just for you. So preserve your purity and the unwounded integrity of your heart as a gift for your spouse, and you will feast on love together with great satisfaction.

Blessed are you who hunger for romantic relationships, but who date little,
for God is preparing a spouse for you.

Blessed are you who are unpopular,
for you discover how to be a true friend.

It’s true that after high school graduation, you won’t see most of these classmates very much anymore. You might keep in close touch with one or two of them, but most of them will move away from here, or you will move away from them. Don’t mourn thinking that you have too few friends. Christ wills that you would learn how to be a great friend, someone like Himself, rather than someone with great popularity who never knows true friendship. A person with few friends realizes the importance of always showing kindness, respect, and genuineness towards everyone, the popular and the unpopular alike.

Blessed are you who are unpopular,
for you discover how to be a true friend.

 And finally, take consolation in this…

 Blessed are you when peers dislike you,
and when they exclude and insult you,
and denounce you as un-cool or lame
on account of your faithfulness to Christ
for Christ’s opinion is the only one that really matters
and he will reward your faithfulness with happiness.

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