Gospels in a Year

Today’s Reading: Matthew 5:1-12

1 Seeing the crowds, he went up on the mountain, and when he sat down his disciples came to him. 2 And he opened his mouth and taught them, saying:

3 “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

4 “Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.

5 “Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth.

6 “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied.

7 “Blessed are the merciful, for they shall obtain mercy.

8 “Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.

9 “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God.

10 “Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

11 “Blessed are you when men revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account. 12 Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven, for so men persecuted the prophets who were before you.

Today’s Commentary:

The poor in spirit: Those who recognize their need for God and his grace. Unattached to this world, they find their security in the Lord and rely on his mercy rather than their merits or material wealth. The spiritually poor can also be economically poor, for these are often rich in faith (Jas 2:5). Full possession of the kingdom will be theirs at the final Judgment (Mt 25:34) (CCC 2544-47).

Those who mourn: Those who lament the present state of this life. This includes weeping for sins as well as the grief that comes when the saints are made to suffer for their faith. In the life to come, they will be comforted by God, who wipes away every tear (Rev 7:17).

The meek: Those who appear powerless and insignificant in the eyes of the world. Far from being weak, however, the meek possess an inner strength to restrain anger and discouragement in the midst of adversity. Meekness is exemplified in the life of Moses (Num 12:3) and especially Jesus (11:29; 21:5). In the end, the meek will inherit the earth (or “the land” as in Ps 37:11). This refers either to heaven itself, envisioned as a new Promised Land (Heb 11:16), or to the new creation that is to come (Rom 8:21; Rev 21:1).