Gospel: Mt 5:1-12a
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.
The Beatitudes turn everything in this world upside down. “Blessed are the poor in spirit” first of all says that those who are dependent on God’s Providence are more blessed than those who think they have it all. Part of what makes the Beatitudes counter-intuitive is that Jesus pronounces God’s blessing on those who have poverty of spirit and not those possessed by wealth, power and fame. Our typical approach to life is that success or wealth or power equals happiness. The problem with that is that the more you succeed, the more wealth and power you gain, the more you have to lose, and, therefore, the more you relate to life in fear and competition. This way of life leads us to think we can only be happy in life by winning, by getting ahead and by beating someone else at the game. Those who seek to follow Jesus Christ are called to embody a completely different vision of life. We are called to give our lives working to extend God’s mercy to the left out and beaten down in this world, to seek to establish God’s peace and God’s justice for all the dispossessed and disenfranchised of this world. We are called to align our lives with those whom the world despises and rejects — which means that we, too, will be despised and rejected because of our commitment to God’s mercy and peace and justice. But like those whom the world marginalizes, when we align our lives in that way, we also can rejoice when God’s Reign becomes more visible in our lives.
© Copyright Bible Diary 2018