Zephaniah 2:3; 3:12-13; Psalm 145: 6-7, 8-10; 1 Cor. 1:26-31; Matthew 5:1-12a
The readings of the day resound with a call to righteous life which is the mark of a true Christian, and the foundation of the Kingdom of God.
Jesus had been announcing that the Kingdom of Heaven was at hand. He had been calling for people to repent. Now He teaches the ethical guidelines for life in this Kingdom. In the Beatitudes, he unveils the foundation and character of this Kingdom life.
What is the good life and the ultimate purpose of life? Jesus addresses this question in the Sermon on the Mount. The word Beatitude literally means “happiness” or “blessedness”. He takes a set of people condemned by the world as unfortunate, and calls them “Blessed”. Thus we have the poor, the meek, the mourning, the hungry, the persecuted, the pure in heart and the peacemakers, all pronounced as Blessed. And it is to these that the Kingdom of God will belong.
The Beatitudes inspire us; they challenge us to change our attitude and our worldly values, teaching us a new way of life. It demands a transformation of the inner person - the virtues of humility, charity, and brotherly love in daily life must be a Christian habit and not a one-off thing to be practiced only during Advent or Lent. Love becomes the motivation for the Christian. Actions motivated by love are automatically followed by great reward; and the reward here is The Kingdom of God!
MEMORY VERSE: Matthew 5:12a – “Rejoice and be glad, for your reward will be great in heaven.”