Meditation of the Apostolic Nuncio, Apostolic Nunciature, New Delhi, Wednesday 9 September 2020
Gospel: Luke 6:20-26
The Gospel today presents four blessings and four curses in Luke’s Gospel. There is a progressive revelation in the way in which Luke presents the teaching of Jesus. Up to 6:16, he says many times, that Jesus taught the people, but he did not describe the content of the teaching. Now, after having said that Jesus sees the crowd desirous to hear the Word of God, Luke presents the first great discourse which begins with the exclamation, “Blessed are you who are poor!” and “Alas for you, rich!”. 
And although He speaks in a general way to all, yet more especially He lifts up His eyes on His disciples; for it follows “on his disciples”, that to those who receive the word listening attentively with the heart, He might reveal more fully the light of its deep meaning.
Now Luke mentions only four blessings, but Matthew eight; but in those eight are contained these four, and in these four those eight. For the one has embraced as it were the four cardinal virtues, the other has revealed in those eight the mystical number. For as the eighth is the accomplishment of our hope, so is the eighth also the completion of the virtues. But each Evangelist has placed the blessings of poverty first, for it is the first in order, and the purest, as it were, of the virtues; for he who has despised the world shall reap an eternal reward. Now can any one obtain the reward of the heavenly kingdom who, overcome by the desires of the world, has no power of escape from them?
In the Gospel according to St. Matthew it is said, “blessed are the poor in spirit”, that we should understand the poor in spirit to be one of a modest and somewhat depressed mind. Hence our Saviour says, “learn from me, for I am meek and lowly of heart”. But Luke says, “blessed are the poor”, without the addition of spirit, calling those poor who despise riches. For it became those who were to preach the doctrines of the saving Gospel to have no covetousness, but their affections set upon higher things. Not every one oppressed with poverty is blessed, but he who has preferred the commandment of Christ to worldly riches.