Four Beatitudes and Four Woes

“Four Beatitudes and Four Woes”
A reflection on Luke 6:20-26
Wednesday of the Twenty-Third Week in Ordinary Time
©️2022 Gloria M. Chang

Raising his eyes toward his disciples Jesus 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 who are now weeping, for you will laugh.
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.”

Luke 6:20-26

Blessed Are the Poor and Hungry

Turning the values of the world upside-down, Jesus extols the path of self-denial that leads to the kingdom of God. Empty, the “poor” and “hungry” yearn to be filled. Surfeited with worldly comforts, the rich and sated dull their desire for God. Jesus not only satisfies bodily hunger, as in his miracles of loaves and fish,1 but feeds the soul with heavenly teaching. “Blessed are the poor in spirit,” Matthew’s version reads, and “Blessed are they who hunger and thirst for righteousness.”2

Blessed Are the Weeping 

Echoing the ancient wisdom of Solomon, Jesus finds true mirth in the heart that mourns. Against effervescent frivolity and levity, eternal joy rises from the tomb with Christ, victorious over sin.  

Sorrow is better than laughter;
when the face is sad, the heart grows wise.
The heart of the wise is in the house of mourning,
but the heart of fools is in the house of merriment.

Ecclesiastes 7:3-4

Blessed Are the Reviled

In the footsteps of the accursed Christ, disciples bear the shame of his cross, enduring mockery and insults. 

Christ ransomed us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us, for it is written, “Cursed be everyone who hangs on a tree.”

Galatians 3:13

Blessed are those who bear Christ’s shame
And die for the sake of his name.

For the sake of the joy that lay before him he endured the cross, despising its shame, and has taken his seat at the right of the throne of God.

Hebrews 12:2

Traditional Chinese Translation



1 Matthew 14:13-21; Mark 6:34-44; 8:1-9.
2 Matthew 5:3, 6.

Related post:

The Eight Beatitudes

4 Replies to “Four Beatitudes and Four Woes”

  1. Dear Gloria, Blessed are the Spiritual bloggers who bring the word of God to others with love and merit. Blessed are they indeed who help others know and love God. May your reward be great in heaven and…online!

  2. This reminds me of Paul speaking to the Corinthians in his first letter, “For the message about the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God….
    For Jews demand signs and Greeks desire wisdom, but we proclaim Christ crucified, a stumbling block to Jews and foolishness to Gentiles, but to those who are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God. For God’s foolishness is wiser than human wisdom, and God’s weakness is stronger than human strength.”

    That always gets me–we preach Christ crucified, holding up that object of pain, shame and humiliation which has been transformed by His sacrifice into our salvation.

    1. Thank you for sharing, Theresa. Truly, the path of Christ crucified defies all human philosophies. Who but the Lord can transform sin into grace and glory on the cross? There is no wasteland on earth where divine mercy is not present.

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