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.
The gospel reading for this Sunday includes the first verses of the Sermon on the Mount. There we hear Jesus call “blessed” the poor in spirit, the meek, those who mourn, those who hunger for justice, even the persecuted — all those who the world judges as “losers.”
Jesus calls them blessed because they have not given themselves over to the false idols of greed, violence, and the desire for unbridled power over others. Instead they try to be good and faithful people who live lives of faith, hope, and love, knowing, as Psalm 62 says, that only in God will our souls be at rest and from God alone comes our salvation. And, in the process, they serve as blessings to others as well.
You might want to take some time to think about who have been light and salt in your life and for whom you are trying to be light and salt.
—Fr. Frank Majka, S.J., a Wisconsin Jesuit, is engaged in pastoral ministry at Marquette University High School in Milwaukee.
May my actions draw attention to you, my God!
Help me to bring light into the darkness of life,
spreading hope for a better world,
a world where justice is made real by your children
living together in harmony.
Help me to bring salt into the blandness of life,
encouraging vitality and joy in living
in a world that dares to hope
for the future that you promise,
where all your children will know they are
loved and valued and treasured,
created in your image,
bringing you glory forever.
—a Church of Scotland prayer