A Topsy-Turvy World

Our fallen human nature tempts us to believe that we will experience joy when we follow our whims, desires, passions, and will. This is a false narrative. It’s simply not true! Why? Because God created a topsy-turvy world. Find out what this means for you in today’s message.

Jesus ushered in a radical reversal of the common thinking of His time. His teachings, parables, and actions often contradicted the established norms and values, offering a new perspective on life, morality, and spirituality. Jesus flipped far more than the money changers tables over. Jesus flipped everything on its head!

Even with Christ’s incarnation, long standing beliefs were upended. Before His birth, fertility and motherhood were seen as the primary blessing for woman. However, when Mary conceived Jesus through the power of the Holy Spirit while remaining a virgin, she demonstrated that virginity and motherhood are not mutually exclusive. From then on, virginity was also seen as a special calling. As a result, to this day, some women devote themselves entirely to God and the service of the Church. Mary’s unique role as both Mother of God and virgin has elevated the blessing of virginity alongside the blessing of motherhood. Both are now valid and complementary paths for women.

Soon after Jesus called His disciples, we observe them acting like followers of an earthly king. They get caught up in their desire for power and authority. Jesus corrected this misguided ambition. He flipped things upside down, teaching them that true Christian greatness does not consist in dominating but rather in serving.

His topsy-turvy teachings continued in the parable of the Good Samaritan. With it, Jesus redefined the concept of “neighbor” to include not just one’s kin or people of the same faith or ethnicity, but anyone in need. This was a radical idea in a society marked by strict social and religious boundaries.

In His Sermon on the Mount, Jesus put all kinds of conventional wisdom on its head.  He ushered in a total paradigm shift. He contradicted the prevailing belief that the strong and powerful would rule the world. He taught us to love our enemies, to turn the other cheek, and He said the last shall be first.

When Jesus introduced the Beatitudes, His teaching’s were radical and counter cultural. The Beatitudes were not a call to passive resignation, but rather a challenge to embrace a new way of living. They invite us to “walk straight” on the path to the kingdom, even amidst suffering and persecution. Jesus inverted common thinking with these teachings.

  • Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
  • Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.
  • Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth.
  • Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied.
  • Blessed are the merciful, for they shall obtain mercy.
  • Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.
  • Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God.
  • Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

All of these teachings stand in stark contrast to the worldly values of power, wealth, and status.

In John 15:9-11, Jesus tells us that by keeping His commandments we remain in His love and in doing so our joy will be complete. This teaching overturns and capsizes our boat in the sea of human logic. It flies in the face of our fallen human thinking. Like Adam and Eve, we want to do everything our way. But Jesus taught us that true joy comes from faithfully following God’s commandments and living according to His will, rather than simply doing what we want.

When we are fully joined to the Mystical Body of Christ, we share in the life which flows from the Divine Head into each part of the Body. When we follow God’s will we experience a foretaste of heaven’s eternal happiness. Without the joy from following God’s will, our witness as Christians loses its power. Without joy, we are not very convincing to others. Without the joy of doing the Lord’s will, especially in the face to trials and struggles, it is nearly impossible to lead others to Christ.

In conclusion, Jesus’ teachings turned the world upside down because they challenged the status quo and introduced a new way of thinking and living. They emphasized love, forgiveness, humility, and service over power, vengeance, and social status. These teachings turned common thinking on its head, offering a transformative vision of life and spirituality that continues to this very day.

Now we each must ask ourselves, what things in my life, and what attitudes and beliefs need upending? What areas of my sinful tendencies need to be turned on their head? And finally, we should ask ourselves this. What is preventing me from embracing the Topsy-Turvy way of living Jesus is calling me to live?

Heavenly Father, based on your Son’s teachings, it is clear to see that it is really not His teaching that are upside down, I am! I am the one often standing on my head. Flip me over Father and place me on my feet so that I can follow Jesus in His Topsy-Turvy world. I know when I do this, my joy will be complete. Amen!


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Brian Pusateri
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