Colossians 3:1-11
Matthew 5:12


Many studies about intimate relationships conclude that they are more likely to be successful when the partners share a common vision and have similar values.  Paul, today, is saying something similar.  For us to share a close, intimate relationship with Christ (hidden with Christ in God), we need to rid ourselves of all those things that are not Christ-like: controlling, self-gratification, evil desires, greed, retribution etcetera; the placing of I  above God and above everything. 

Our world touts many of these traits as virtues, even signs of success. The so-called prosperity gospels portray Christ as having died and risen so that followers might do well and prosper in business and life in general, even if their ‘sharp’ practices trample others into the dust.  For Paul, greed is idolatry and he confronts ideologies that oppose the word of truth, the gospel (Colossians 1:5). He would be busy confronting all the ideologies of our era!

Luke today teaches us who really are important in God’s eyes: the poor, the dispossessed, and those in mourning.  

Next month, Australians will vote in a referendum to establish a Voice to Parliament for the country’s First Nations People.  Those who will vote might ask themselves, will The Voice better support First Nations Australians to achieve their full potential?  Today’s readings invite us to discern what would be in the heart of Christ on the matter.

Brian Norman has been associated with the Passionists in various ways since he was three weeks old when he squared off with Fr Placid Millay CP over the baptismal font at St Brigid’s, Marrickville.