Mt 5: 1-12a
When Jesus saw the crowds, he went up the mountain; and after he sat down, his disciples came to him. Then he began to speak, and taught them, saying:
“Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. “Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted. “Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth. “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled. “Blessed are the merciful, for they will receive mercy. “Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God. “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God.
“Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. “Blessed are you when people revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account. Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.
New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989, by the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. USCCB approved.
Life in the kingdom of God
The saints were all happy people. Jesus promises us that we too will be “blessed,” or “happy,” if we remain poor in spirit, meek, merciful and hungering for righteousness. Righteousness means being what God has made us to be, for “we are what he has made us, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand to be our way of life” (Eph 2:10).
The will of God is near at hand each moment. We need only remain “pure of heart,” attentive to God’s Spirit within us, ready to do what good we can, and we will be at peace, living in the kingdom of God even in this life.
—Fr. Jack Zupez, SJ, is a member of the Jesuits Central and Southern Province. He lives at Jesuit Hall in St. Louis and has served in full-time prison ministry.
Lord, help me to keep growing in humility and meekness, in poverty of spirit, more merciful and compassionate, and ready to do the good works you lay across my path or bring within my reach. Then may my heart not be restless but find its peace, for it rests in you. Amen.
—Fr. Jack Zupez, SJ