We get beatitudes this week. Again, what with the Year C thing, they’re from St. Luke, so we get four. St. Matthew has these four and four more. But those are for a different year. The four that the two gospels share are:
St. Luke #1: Blessed are you who are poor, for the kingdom of God is yours.
St. Matthew #1: Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
St. Luke #2: Blessed are you who are now hungry, for you will be satisfied.
St. Matthew #4: Blessed are they who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be satisfied.
St. Luke #3: Blessed are you who are now weeping, for you will laugh.
St. Matthew #2: Blessed are they who mourn, for they will be comforted.
St. Luke #4:
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.
St. Matthew #8:
Blessed are they who are persecuted for the sake of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are you when they insult you and persecute you and utter every kind of evil against you falsely because of me. Rejoice and be glad, for your reward will be great in heaven. Thus they persecuted the prophets who were before you.
I would have thought that I’d have easily said that I prefer the St. Matthew beatitudes. Heck, when I think of beatitudes, I pretty much think only of St. Matthew. It’s only here now that I’m appreciating the St. Luke. I like how St. Luke has Jesus addressing the crowd in the second person, saying you directly to them, rather than the third person in St. Matthew.
And I like how St. Luke has it simply as poor and hungry, rather than poor in spirit and hunger and thirst for righteousness. I like Jesus addressing the physical needs of the crowd when he’s giving them spiritual comfort.
And while St. Matthew has it as those mourning will be comforted, St. Luke has the more primal, more powerful, you who are weeping, you’re not just going to be comforted, but this is such good stuff that you’re going to actually laugh.