Trust me: your reward will be great in Heaven
For me this story in Luke is one of the most touching in recorded Scriptural history. A poignant portrait of a very human Jesus. The opening lines for me convey a wealth of meaning hard to capture in words. “Jesus came down and stood on level ground.” Humility personified!
And the next line speaks volumes, too. Jesus’ eyes roved over the crowd. Who is He looking for? Watch him. Like a loving parent, a faithful friend, he spies his disciples. And, begins to remind them: “Blessed are you!” He reminds me of an elder, saying to a grown child or a grandchild, “It’s going to be OK. Someday your luck will change. That boy will wake up and realize what a catch he’s let go. You’ll realize how lucky you are. You may hungry for a special relationship today. I can promise you, you will be satisfied.” The words of Psalm 30 console us: “Weeping may last for the night, but a shout of joy comes in the morning.”
Then, lest we become complacent, Jesus reminds us that this world is passing with all that is in it. You who are filled today, you who have a sufficiency today, will be hungry tomorrow. Those who pat you on the back today, may speak behind your back and denounce you tomorrow. They who laugh today will be among those who weep tomorrow.
Luke shares the lessons he’s learned from those who personally spent time in Jesus’ company. They’d learned from him the know-how of turning negativity to learning opportunities. Sounds like Jesus was a “when life gives you lemons make lemonade” kind of person. His close friends had witnessed Jesus special regard for people who suffer and feel out of the loop of belonging.
As Jesus spoke to the crowd that day each must have wondered: Is he talking about me? To me? Am I too settled in my comfortable niche? Why do I feel like squirming at this words? How differently He expresses His Father’s love for all people. Wealth isn’t really an overflowing abundance of money and things! Real wealth is believing that your reward will be found in delayed satisfaction. Today, Jesus says, Rejoice and leap for joy; your ancestors went through the same trials you experience. Different characters; same stories. Trust me: your reward will be great in Heaven.
~ Reflection by Sister Roberta Bailey, OSB, Prioress