When Jesus saw the crowds, he went up the mountain. He sat down and his disciples gathered around him. Then he spoke and began to teach them:
Fortunate are those who are poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
Fortunate are those who mourn, they shall be comforted.
Fortunate are the gentle, they shall possess the land.
Fortunate are those who hunger and thirst for justice, for they shall be satisfied.
Fortunate are the merciful, for they shall find mercy.
Fortunate are those with pure hearts, for they shall see God.
Fortunate are those who work for peace, they shall be called children of God.
Fortunate are those who are persecuted for the cause of justice, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
Fortunate are you, when people insult you and persecute you and speak all kinds of evil against you because you are my followers. Be glad and joyful, for a great reward is kept for you in God. For that is how this people persecuted the prophets who lived before you.
“There must be emptiness before there can be fullness, and so poverty of spirit precedes riches and grace in the kingdom of God.” (BibleStudyTools.com) Matthew’s poverty in spirit is considered in its spiritual sense as opposed to Luke’s poor in spirit in the physical sense. Jesus spoke from the mountain, a sign of authority in contrast with Luke’s account where he taught in the plain, with the people.
When I put out my condo on foreclosure, I have to remove everything in it that I acquired through the years. There were things I kept for sentimental reasons, others that are less important had to be thrown away. I was sad and hurt for leaving and emptying my condo, and throw out things. That is what emptiness is all about.
It is synonymous with sadness and nothingness. Nothing is left behind when we empty ourselves of those incompatible with “poor in spirit.” The malicious thoughts, envy, violence and evil intentions must go away before one can truly be a peacemaker, blessed, satisfied, comforted and called as God’s child. The joy and fullness of God’s kingdom are for those who dare to empty themselves of anything that is contrary to the divine.
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