Monday – 10th Week of Ordinary Time (revisited)
Go Tell it on the Mountain
Mount of the
This is an all too familiar Gospel reading – the Beatitudes! Whenever my Scripture classes got to this passage, I always joked that these should be the “A” attitudes, not the “B’ attitudes! Yeah, I know, corny! But the lesson is important! These are the ideal of how we should act!
So consider today not just WHAT Jesus says today; consider WHERE He preaches. On a mountain top! That should be a familiar setting. After the Flood, Noah and the ark settle on Mount Ararat where Noah offers a sacrifice of thanksgiving to God. Abram takes Isaac to the mountain top to sacrifice him and instead God extends to Abram the first covenant. It is on Mt. Sinai that God give Moses the tablets of the Law. The Jews went up to Jerusalem to the Mount to worship in the Temple. Many times Jesus went off to a mountain to be alone and to pray. Mountains were always considered sacred, places to pray, places to physically get close to God. So when Jesus preaches the Beatitudes in today’s Gospel from the mountain top, it is God speaking to His people, instructing them on how to live and how to love.
The question for us today is where do we go to meet God, to talk to Him, to pray to Him? I am sure most of us will say “I go to church.” But up until a few months ago, that was not an option. So back when the churches were closed and prayer before the Blessed Sacrament was not possible, where did you go to pray? Where did you go to listen to God? Where is your personal mountain top? Your private place for praying?
Back in January 2020, when I was praying and prepping to preach for our Mass at the Garden of Gethsemane in Jerusalem, I ended up finding a quiet corner in the Church of the Holy Sepulchre. Unfortunately that is not a place available to me on a regular basis. And like you, for many long months church was not been available for me either. So I found a quiet place at home, sometimes outside with shade and the sound of birds; sometimes it was just comfortably curled up in a chair.
We are now cautiously close to completely opening our churches, to returning to a regular schedule of Masse, Sacraments and adoration. But even when that happens, don’t neglect your personal mountain! Just because our churches are almost fully open, that doesn’t mean you have to abandon that personal prayer place you have at home. We don’t limit ourselves to a single place for conversing with our family and friends. Why should we limit where we talk to God? That private prayer space is still there and so is God! Talk to Him!
If you find these Gospel reflections helpful, I invite you to visit my new blog “Gospel Reflections for Pandemic Times” to revisit today’s homily and all those from the past 15 months.