Date: February 11, 2007 Sixth Sunday of Ordinary Time
Readings: Jeremiah 17: 5-8* Psalm 1:1-4,6*
1Corinthians 15: 12, 16-20* Luke 6: 17, 20-26
The false prophets Jesus referred to, are the ones who tell you what you want to hear rather than the truth.
Jeremiah was rebutting the prophecies of the toadies who advised the Kings of the Northern Kingdom to make alliances with other countries for the protection of the country rather than relying on God and His spokesmen who "told it like it is".
As a result of their misinformation, the Northern Kingdom was run over by the Assyrians, who promptly dispersed them throughout the Assyrian Kingdom never to return again. These exiles are referred to as the Diaspora, the ten lost tribes of Jacob
The metaphor of the curse and the blessing and the comparison to plants of the desert and those sown near water is supplemented by the psalmist references in the same vein. No one would intentionally place himself in jeopardy by associating with the wicked.
In our culture, we place ourselves in danger of final death. When the purveyors of licentiousness in film, video and other forms of "entertainment", aimed at the purient and those susceptible to this kind of temptation, do so with almost no restrictions to their license, hiding under the 1st Amendment to our Country's Constitution, they are the false prophets.
"What's the difference, some ask? This life is it! "
Were the premise not confirmed by the fact of Christ's resurrection, Paul states we are indeed the duped of the world. However, since Christ did rise from the dead and promised us the same resurrection under the auspices of the Holy Spirit, we are saved indeed. Otherwise, we have no reason to behave rationally, morally or with any restrictions on our actions.
Notice Luke's rendition of the beatitudes is contrasted with 'Woes". He is not whitewashing the poor and giving them a pass to the next life, however, he reiterates the favor given the lowly; not to exclude the earthly favored, but to encourage them to seek those handicapped by social mores and help them in whatever way we have been blessed. Of course, we will be ridiculed and debased by those "in the know". However, Christ's promise of eternal life with Him should assuage our embarrassment.