READINGS for 2008-06-09
“Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.” – Matthew 5:3
I really don’t like this person, I thought to myself. The way he talked and gave comments just rubbed me the wrong way. But the more I thought about it, I realized that there wasn’t anything wrong with his words. I guess my pride just couldn’t take the way he said them.
The Sermon on the Mount sounds beautiful to the ears when we read it. For example, to be poor in spirit and have the kingdom of heaven. Wow! Who wouldn’t want to have heaven? But reality bites when we try to live it out. It’s a cause-and-effect type. If we’re poor in spirit then, we have heaven. What if you realized you’re proud because you can’t stand a person? Does that mean you don’t qualify for heaven?
The Sermon on the Mount is more than just beautiful and lyrical words. The words in that sermon can serve as a challenge to our lifestyle to confront and enlighten us as we journey towards God — if we let it. And poverty in the spirit, like the rest of the sermon, is something that we can choose to have through the choices we make.
Let’s choose wisely. Joy Sosoban
“Humility is the foundation of all the other virtues.” (St. Augustine)
Jesus, let me see my poverty and live accordingly.
The Old Testament is full of examples of miraculous happenings to servants of God. Here Elijah is fed by the ravens. Now that would have been a remarkable experience. Why does God choose to do things this way? Your guess is as good as mine. Perhaps He wants to draw attention to the fact that He has chosen Elijah for a special mission and gives witness to this through such a miracle.
1 Kings 17:1-6
1 Elijah the Tishbite, from Tishbe in Gilead, said to Ahab, “As the LORD, the God of Israel, lives, whom I serve, during these years there shall be no dew or rain except at my word.” 2 The LORD then said to Elijah: 3 “Leave here, go east and hide in the Wadi Cherith, east of the Jordan. 4 You shall drink of the stream, and I have commanded ravens to feed you there.” 5 So he left and did as the LORD had commanded. He went and remained by the Wadi Cherith, east of the Jordan. 6 Ravens brought him bread and meat in the morning, and bread and meat in the evening, and he drank from the stream.
P S A L M
Psalm 121:1bc-2, 3-4, 5-6, 7-8
R: Our help is from the Lord, who made heaven and earth.
1 I lift up my eyes toward the mountains; whence shall help come to me? 2 My help is from the LORD, who made heaven and earth. (R) 3 May he not suffer your foot to slip; may he slumber not who guards you. 4 Indeed he neither slumbers nor sleeps, the guardian of Israel. (R) 5 The LORD is your guardian; the LORD is your shade; he is beside you at your right hand. 6 The sun shall not harm you by day, nor the moon by night. (R) 7 The LORD will guard you from all evil; he will guard your life. 8 The LORD will guard your coming and your going, both now and forever. (R)
G O S P E L
The Beatitudes form the basis of our Christian understanding of the affective life. Here, Jesus outlines for us how we should relate to others. As a Christian community, God wants us to bear witness to His love for all people. Let us embrace the call to live our lives in imitation of Jesus’ love for us. Let us pray that the values of the Beatitudes will become central to the way we live every day.
1 When Jesus saw the crowds, he went up the mountain, and after he had sat down, his disciples came to him. 2 He began to teach them, saying: 3 “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. 4 Blessed are they who mourn, for they will be comforted. 5 Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the land. 6 Blessed are they who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be satisfied. 7 Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy. 8 Blessed are the clean of heart, for they will see God. 9 Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God. 10 Blessed are they who are persecuted for the sake of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. 11 Blessed are you when they insult you and persecute you and utter every kind of evil against you [falsely] because of me. 12 Rejoice and be glad, for your reward will be great in heaven. Thus they persecuted the prophets who were before you.”
think:How well do I live out the values of the Beatitudes?
God’s special verse/thought for me today________________
T O D A Y ’ S BLESSING LIST
Thank You Lord for: ____________________________________
READ THE BIBLE IN ONE YEAR 2 Kings 5-8
In today’s Gospel, we read of some of the greatest challenges we will ever face in life – imitating the heart and spirit of Jesus in the way we live our lives. The Beatitudes are not just pious platitudes mouthed by Jesus to comfort those who might be struggling a little in their relationship with Him. They are the heart and soul of the attitudes and motivations behind which a Christian acts. Unless we are growing in living the Beatitudes in our daily lives, we should be worried about whether or not the Gospel message is really having an impact on us.
I am not trying to be overly dramatic, nor am I half-joking. This is a very serious matter — either our lives are beginning and continuing to be formed in the ways and the mind of Christ or not. This is the very object of the life of discipleship, one which we, as Christians, have committed our lives to in order to live fully the gift of salvation Jesus Christ has given us. In this sense, we do not have a choice here. By choosing to follow Christ, we necessarily commit ourselves to living out the Beatitudes on a daily basis. This requires constant commitment to the Word of God and prayer, or else we will be left “in the dark” as to what the demands of discipleship are in our lives.
Jesus has given us an example we can follow. What is left for us to do is to follow Him by the grace of salvation He offers to us. As Christians, we should meditate regularly upon the Beatitudes and ask the Holy Spirit what we should be doing to put them all in place in our lives. We cannot do this on our own and thus we have been given the Holy Spirit to help us. We are fools if we do not give Him the opportunity to do so. Fr. Steve Tynan
How well does my life reflect the fruits of the Beatitudes to the world? Are there areas in which I need to grow in?
Holy Spirit, help me to embrace the graces You give me so that my life will be a strong witness to the values of the Beatitudes and I will be able to help others to grow in them as well.
St. Ephrem, deacon and doctor of the Church, pray for us.
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