Gospel: Matthew 5:1-12
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 righteousness,
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.
“Fortunate are you…”
In Matthew, the 8 Beatitudes is the first of the teachings of Je sus when he starts his prophetic ministry in Galilee. The Beatitudes is also an appropriate beginning of his series of long discourses to the crowds. Towards the end of Matthew’s gospel, the beatitudes will be reechoed in the Last Judg ment.
The purpose of religion, dis cipleship or following Jesus is transformation. The desired trans formation is how each follower shows mercy and compassion to the poor and the needy till the end. Religion is not so much in the pompous liturgical celebrations, correct doctrines and belonging ness to the true church, but the actual practice of it.
Each Christian should seek then to become poor in spirit, to mourn because something is wrong, to become gentle, to hunger for justice, to be merciful, etc. The Beatitudes is intimately connected with the corporal works of mercy.
True religion is best practiced in serving the poor in the peri pheries, binding their wounds, and making them feel they are loved by God, bringing them the Word of God and being present among them. Surely God will con sider us fortunate and blessed. He will welcome us into his kingdom at the end.
© Copyright Bible Diary 2019