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Blessed are the poor in spirit; the kingdom of heaven is theirs! — Matthew 5:3
Mass Readings: Zephaniah 2:3;3:12-13 / 1 Corinthians 1:26-31 / Matthew 5:1-12
In today’s Gospel we hear Jesus’ Beatitudes in the Sermon on the Mount. These are so very familiar to us we risk losing sight of how radical they are. The people who heard these beatitudes were subsistence farmers in an occupied country. They were one bad harvest away from famine. Yet Jesus says, “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven” (Mt 5:3). He lived in a Roman world that honored power and strength above all things. Yet he says, “Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the land” (Mt 5:5).
Jesus turned things upside down. The Kingdom of God isn’t anything like what you would expect. Humility topples the proud. The poor become rich. We’re to welcome insults and persecution because that means a great reward is coming.
Prayer: Thank You, Lord, for setting me free. Free me to love and serve You more.
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