20Looking at his disciples, he said: "Blessed are you who are poor, for yours is the kingdom of God. (I always thought this was for poor people, not for me, so they could feel better about their circumstances, very embarrassing admission.) 21Blessed are you who hunger now, for you will be satisfied. (I hate being hungry and find it very annoying and painful) Blessed are you who weep now, for you will laugh. (I much prefer laughter to weeping) 22Blessed are you when men hate you, when they exclude you and insult you and reject your name as evil, because of the Son of Man (I thought we were supposed to live in such a way that no one can find any fault with us, let alone call us evil! ) 23"Rejoice in that day and leap for joy, (I more picture myself bawling on the floor under these circumstances) because great is your reward in heaven. For that is how their fathers treated the prophets.
24"But woe to you who are rich, for you have already received your comfort. 25Woe to you who are well fed now, for you will go hungry. Woe to you who laugh now, for you will mourn and weep. 26Woe to you when all men speak well of you, for that is how their fathers treated the false prophets. (This is more how I see American Christian, myself included, living our "lives of faith")
It seems to me that we pray for the direct opposite of what Jesus was saying here. And I don't think we need to whip ourselves and start wearing hair shirts, life has many opportunities for suffering. I just realized how much of my time and energy and focus is on having all these things that Jesus tells us we should do without. Whoa. Scary moment!