The Gospels offer us a sustained glimpse into God’s love for us. We learn through the beatitudes that the way humans think is not always the best way, not the godliest. When we punish and cast judgment, God is infinitely more keen to love and forgive. We saw this at the crucifixion when Jesus not only forgave those who killed him but found excuses for them: “They know not what they do.”
It can be a painful experience to see how we are so inadequate for the Kingdom of God. In this life we are taught to only take the rewards that we are entitled to, but we shall never be entitled to paradise. This makes us feel like we shouldn’t be going there. God’s love is a gift, and Jesus forgives our sins and enrobes us in his love. We deserve none of it.
This gives us a taste of how we should be treating our fellow humans. We should forgive, have patience, we should live the life of Jesus inside our own life. Poverty takes many forms, most notably humility. For as Jesus says: blessed are the poor in spirit.
The Lord be with you.
And with your spirit
A reading from the Gospel according to Matthew (5:1-12.)
Glory to you, O Lord
Seeing the crowds, Jesus went up the hill. There he sat down and was joined by his disciples.
Then he began to speak. This is what he taught them:
‘How happy are the poor in spirit; theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
Happy the gentle: they shall have the earth for their heritage.
Happy those who mourn: they shall be comforted.
Happy those who hunger and thirst for what is right: they shall be satisfied.
Happy the merciful: they shall have mercy shown them.
Happy the pure in heart: they shall see God.
Happy the peacemakers: they shall be called sons of God.
Happy those who are persecuted in the cause of right:
theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
‘Happy are you when people abuse you and persecute you and speak all kinds of calumny against you on my account. Rejoice and be glad, for your reward will be great in heaven; this is how they persecuted the prophets before you.
The Gospel of the Lord
Praise to you, Lord Jesus Christ.