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Bless what we lack: Here’s why the Gospel proposes an opposite logic


Oleksander Berezko - Shutterstock

Fr. Luigi Maria Epicoco - published on 09/07/22

Every relationship involves openness, and whenever we experience need it prompts us to open ourselves to receive what we do not have.

Today’s readings can be found here.

“Blessed are you who are poor …, blessed are you who are now hungry …, blessed are you who are now weeping … But woe to you who are rich …, woe to you who are filled now …, woe to you who laugh now.”

Today’s Gospel reveals a truth that we must never forget: We are blessed for what we lack, and in trouble for what we have.

Said like this it’s hardly understandable, but if we bring it existentially into our lives we realize the truth of this statement. In fact, when we experience need, our attitude is completely humble, wide open to the outside world, and receptive.

We are like those little birds who keep their beaks wide open waiting for their mother to feed them. Every relationship involves openness, and whenever we experience need it prompts us to open ourselves to receive what we do not have. 

When we’re satiated, however, all our attention is on ourselves, on our own world. We’re like children who get the toy they want and close themselves off from the world around them to focus only on their play.

Self-referentiality, only relying on ourselves, is a problem that the contemporary world sells us as if it were a bargain. In fact, we live in a culture where weakness is demonized and strength is fomented. We live in a world that tells us that it’s wrong to open up, and that you’re free only when you don’t need anyone.

The Gospel proposes an opposite logic: Bless what we lack, and be careful with what we think we have.


Father Luigi Maria Epicoco is a priest of the Aquila Diocese and teaches Philosophy at the Pontifical Lateran University and at the ISSR ‘Fides et ratio,’ Aquila. He dedicates himself to preaching, especially for the formation of laity and religious, giving conferences, retreats and days of recollection. He has authored numerous books and articles. Since 2021, he has served as the Ecclesiastical Assistant in the Vatican Dicastery for Communication and columnist for the Vatican’s daily newspaper L’Osservatore Romano.

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