Seek the LORD, all
you humble of the earth,
who have observed his law;
seek justice, seek humility;
perhaps you may be sheltered
on the day of the LORD’s anger.
But I will leave as a
remnant in your midst
a people humble and lowly,
who shall take refuge in the name of the LORD:
the remnant of Israel.
They shall do no wrong
and speak no lies;
nor shall there be found in their mouths
a deceitful tongue;
they shall pasture and couch their flocks
with none to disturb them.
R. (Mt 5:3) Blessed the poor in spirit; the kingdom of
heaven is theirs! The LORD keeps
secures justice for the oppressed,
gives food to the hungry.
The LORD sets captives free. R. Blessed the
poor in spirit; the kingdom of heaven is theirs! The LORD gives sight to the blind;
the LORD raises up those who were bowed down.
The LORD loves the just;
the LORD protects strangers. R. Blessed the
poor in spirit; the kingdom of heaven is theirs! The fatherless and the widow the LORD sustains,
but the way of the wicked he thwarts.
The LORD shall reign forever;
your God, O Zion, through all generations. Alleluia. R. Blessed the poor in spirit;
the kingdom of heaven is theirs!
Consider your own
calling, brothers and sisters.
Not many of you were wise by human standards,
not many were powerful,
not many were of noble birth.
Rather, God chose the foolish of the world to shame the
and God chose the weak of the world to shame the strong,
and God chose the lowly and despised of the world,
those who count for nothing,
to reduce to nothing those who are something,
so that no human being might boast before God.
It is due to him that you are in Christ Jesus,
who became for us wisdom from God,
as well as righteousness, sanctification, and redemption,
so that, as it is written,
“Whoever boasts, should boast in the Lord.”
When Jesus saw the crowds, he went
up the mountain,
and after he had sat down, his disciples came to him.
He began to teach them, saying:
“Blessed are the poor in spirit,
for theirs is the Kingdom of heaven.
Blessed are they who mourn,
for they will be comforted.
Blessed are the meek,
for they will inherit the land.
Blessed are they who hunger and thirst for righteousness,
for they will be satisfied.
Blessed are the merciful,
for they will be shown mercy.
Blessed are the clean of heart,
for they will see God.
Blessed are the peacemakers,
for they will be called children of God.
Blessed are they who are persecuted for the sake of
for theirs is the Kingdom of heaven.
Blessed are you when they insult you and persecute you
and utter every kind of evil against you falsely because of
Rejoice and be glad,
for your reward will be great in heaven.”
I have read many reflections on the beatitudes, have heard
several homilies that were very good, and have read some
excellent excerpts, but I won't talk about those beatitudes
today. I will make one comment to sum them all up (for
now) and that
is: "Blest are we for making God number one in our lives."
You know, like before money, before fame, before popularity,
before politics, television, new houses, cars, toys for
kids, before anything else that might interfere with Him
being first and foremost in our lives. That's the only way
that we will come to know happiness and holiness. Our call
to God's Kingdom is a call to holiness, and that is a life
time pursuit. Could it be that holiness is giving of
oneself completely and totally to God for whatever purpose
God wants to use us for? In our efforts to pursue holiness
we can appreciate the truth that the beatitudes challenge us
to go deeper beneath the surface of our being to make that
Perhaps we might say that they are about how we can put
God's love into action, about doing those things that will
make it possible for us to have an eternal presence with
God, about living out God's love for us. It takes a very
different kind of courage to respond to those words spoken
by Jesus on that mountainside. And you should know that
there is great risk, there is always a great risk in living
out God's love, because there is always those people and
those temptations that will try to persuade us not to. When
you think about it, how many have been persecuted for
holiness' sake in some way or another? Living this journey
of life as God's plan for us to follow in the footsteps of
Jesus is not so easy as it might sound. For to do so we
must put ourselves aside for the sake of those in poverty,
sickness, the outcasts, the homeless, those who are weak and
hungry for a better outcome in their lives.
Perhaps we are too busy only, with obeying the Ten
Commandments, which God inferred (These you can at least
obey!) that we forget about where the real challenge lies
for all Christians, and that is indeed these words that
Jesus spoke on that mountain. That is not to say that
the Ten Commandments are not important, of course they are.
They were given to Moses for his people during a time when
they were worshiping false Gods. And when challenged
by the Pharisees about those commandments, Jesus went on to
say, "I am the fulfillment of the old law. I give you
two new commandments, to love God with your whole heart,
your whole soul, and mind, and to love your neighbor as
yourself. Everything of the old law is contained in
these two commandments."
Yes, we live in a crappy world, a very
troubling country. There is much that is going wrong, much
that is being done that is not of God. We do our best to
remedy that situation, but could it be that we got this way
because too many of us did not listen and heed the things
that Jesus said that we should do, these words of the
beatitudes? If Jesus is calling us to follow Him, he is
certainly calling us to be doers of his word and not just
believers and hearers. If we want to put God first in our
lives as well as in our country and our world, we have to put
Him first in our hearts, in our families, and in our
relationships with others.
not about us folks, it's about God and what His will is.
Yes, many of us are limited in someway, just about everyone
is. That is why we don't go it alone. We journey together,
our sinfulness and all, despite our sinfulness and all, to
the best that we are able. Effort is what counts to God.
Have we done the most with what he has given us? Our
talents, our treasures, our gifts, our skills, our wisdom,
our everything. And we have to do that in our own
brokenness, carrying our own crosses, our illnesses, our
pain, our suffering, beyond our own limits sometimes, and
that can only come about with the help of God and those he
sends into our lives.
Jesus wasn't speaking to just those folks in front of him
below on that mountain that day. He was speaking to all of
humankind for all times. Until we release ourselves unto
his will, the world will never change for the better, our
country is not going to change for the better. I could
tell you that it is just like our leaders have been telling
us, but that is very iffy at best. Things are not good
in this world. Look at what is going on in Egypt, the
protests bursting forth, in other countries as well. Government
is not going to change anything for the better, the
bigger our government gets, the more oppressed it's people
get. Only God can help us or anyone. Sin has
interfered with his plan, not just in the past, but it's a
reality today as well. You know it and I know it.
And we all know what the results have been.
future of our children and grandchildren are definitely at
risk. Nothing is ever going to change unless I change,
unless you change. We can't sit on our proud achievements
of the past. I use to do this and I use to do that. I did
my share, let someone else do it. I gave my share years
ago. This isn't years ago people. This is now, and Jesus
is preaching from that mountainside now. Will we respond or
turn our ears and heart away? Will we start praying
like there is no tomorrow? We need to pray while there
is still today, and only in the power of prayer will any
change come about that is of God. And only hope will lead us
to a deeper commitment to prayer. May our Lord bless
each of you with a great week ahead, and with good health to
all. Pray for peace. God bless.