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Sunday Reflection 

taken from www.svdphc.ph

SUNDAY MASS:

6th Sunday in Ordinary Time (Year C)

February 17, 2019

Luke 6, 17.20-26

 

And he came down with them and stood on a stretch of level ground. A great crowd of his disciples and a large number of the people from all Judea and Jerusalem and the coastal region of Tyre and Sidon came.

And raising his eyes toward his disciples he said, “Blessed are you who are poor, for the kingdom of God is yours. Blessed are you who are now hungry for you will be satisfied. 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. For their ancestors treated the prophets in the same way. But woe to you who are rich, for you have received your consolation. But woe to you who are filled now, for you will be hungry. Woe to you who laugh now, for you will grieve and weep. Woe to you when all speak well of you, for their ancestors treated the false prophets in this way.”

 

Reflection

 

The Beatitudes are like Leonardo Da Vinci’s “to do” list. Some of them are: learn the measurement of Milan and its suburbs; get a master arithmetic to show how to square a triangle; ask Gianinno the Bombardier how the tower of Ferrara is walled; ask B. Promati what means they use to walk on ice in Flanders; how to repair a lock, canal, and mill; get the measurement of the sun; get an answer as to why the sky is blue; observe a goose’s foot; and describe a tongue of a woodpecker.

The comparison simply wants to highlight the beauty and the genius of the Beatitudes and the “to do” list of Leonardo Da Vinci.

Looking at the list, one can only smile at its profane interest – woodpecker, goose, sky, lock, canal, mill, sun, ice, tower city. They tickled Da Vinci’s imagination and inspired him to paint, calculate, measure and draw or sketch them, presenting them in artistic and mathematical forms and treatises. There was a sense of difficulty in executing what was in his imagination dependent on the way he framed his inquiry but he was able to do it.

The Beatitudes are the same. They are guides for moral living and are difficult to live out. They are simple; everyone knows what poverty, hunger, misery, hatred, violence, exclusion, and defamation are. They are perennial problems in any place on earth and difficult to root out. God, however, will usher in well-being, satisfaction, happiness, love, inclusion, and praise once God reigns. God will execute the plan if we all collaborate. As St. Augustine said, God can’t save us without us. The martyrs and the saints are witnesses to these. Holy men and women lived out literally these injunctions. They fasted for days and even months and years, lived in isolation (but never lonely) and in prayer. They were persecuted, tortured and killed. They may not have survived but their endurance was a testament to the character they formed themselves to be.

At first glance both the Beatitudes and Da Vinci’s “to do” list may be impossible or just a product of fantasy. But creativity found a way of realizing and living them. This is where we all realize that human creativity has no limits. And it can lead anyone to new creative endeavors and achievements that reflect beauty and human imagination at work.

Anybody like Leonardo Da Vinci who follows the Beatitudes would appear like a misfit because not everyone does what Da Vinci did; neither does everyone do what the blessed did. But the fascination with the natural world in its many aesthetic and mathematical forms and the desire to live a life in a world marked by wounds and scars can only elicit a sense of marvel about the world we encounter each day and can inspire anyone to do something and make each moment of our lives better.

The expression “think outside the box” makes sense in this context.

 

By Fr. Joey Miras SVD

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