This week-end St Luke’s Gospel recounts a story, similar to that told in St. Matthew’s Gospel, about Jesus addressing a large crowd of people, including his apostles, about the true meaning of happiness.

This discourse of Jesus is often referred to as “the Beatitudes”. Unlike St Matthew’s account, St Luke lists only four blessings but adds four juxtaposed warnings about life-styles that mitigate against happiness.

Basically St Luke is reminding us that absolute personal happiness is unattainable if we are self-reliant. St Luke’s account of “the Beatitudes” is an invitation to admit that, to achieve true happiness, we need each other and we need God.