The New Creation
And He lifted up His eyes on His disciples, and said:
“Blessed are you poor, for yours is the kingdom of God.
“Blessed are you that hunger now, for you shall be satisfied.
“Blessed are you that weep now, for you shall laugh.
“Blessed are you when men hate you, and when they exclude you and revile you, and cast out your name as evil, on account of the Son of man! Rejoice in that day, and leap for joy, for behold, your reward is great in heaven; for so their fathers did to the prophets.
“But woe to you that are rich, for you have received your consolation.
“Woe to you that are full now, for you shall hunger.
“Woe to you that laugh now, for you shall mourn and weep.
“Woe to you, when all men speak well of you, for so their fathers did to the false prophets.”
– Luke 6:20-26.
One belief that sets Christians apart is that of the New Creation. A truly converted soul views the world “upside down” one might say. Though I would say the opposite is true.
St. Luke’s account of the Sermon on the Plain reveals a less extensive list of Beatitudes and woes taught by Jesus than that of St. Matthew’s Sermon on the Mount. Sacred Scripture, both Old and New Testaments, is full of this type of contrarian thought. Contrarian in that it reveals that the spiritual nature’s desire for God is at odds with the carnal nature’s desire for convenience, or as St. James put it: “friendship with the world is enmity with God.” James 4:4.
Those subservient to their passions are self-centered and “worldly”. I find it necessary to quote the satanist, Anton LaVey, who said that “self-preservation is the highest law.” I have to give it to him for his honesty. That summary of the modernist philosophy, of course, views the self as merely the carnal nature. Modernism (or whatever they’re calling it this week) is exemplary of this carnality expressed as a collective.
What is Jesus saying here? Is He saying that we ought to be impoverished, starving, crying, and ridiculed? Maybe some of us need that, but that seems to be more on a personal basis rather than collective. He is addressing certain vices that prohibit a person from “seeing God”.
Avarice, gluttony, pretentiousness, and vainglory, more often than not, lead to gross misuse of one’s energies. In fact, this misdirection of the mind, desire, and will of a person actually holds them in servitude to the corruptible world. Christ’s teaching struck the heart of man’s misery: poverty, hunger, anguish, and shame. He warned us not to be caught up in these temporal applications.
He taught us value:
“Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust consume and where thieves break in and steal, but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust consumes and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.”
– Matthew 6:19-21.
Conversion involves the process of disregarding the carnal in favor of the spiritual:
If anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has passed away, behold the new has come.
– 2 Corinthians 5:17.