“Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.” vs. 3
When Jesus looked over the motley crew he’d gathered as disciples during his first weeks of ministry he knew he didn’t have the cream of the crop. He begins his teaching by describing them as poor in spirit. Not only had they been gathered from the lower classes of their society, they likely weren’t known for their spiritual riches either. They may have appeared to be tough, but on the inside they were searching for a connection to God that had eluded them, probably for all of their lives. But Jesus loved them and offered a special blessing–undeserving though they might be, they would inherit the kingdom of heaven. There are many among us who have similar feelings. When we look around in our congregations and faith communities it may appear that everyone else has their spiritual ducks in a row. Of course we’re only seeing the externals–we have no knowledge of their core, but that gives us no consolation. All we know is that our spirits are impoverished and we’re a mess on the inside. And Jesus says, “Blessed are you poor in spirit–you are a part of my kingdom, and I’m going to use you to do wonderful things in this world.” The less we have to brag about spiritually, the more there is for the Spirit to do. And before long, in spite of our poverty, we are producing fruit in abundance.
Thought for the Day: Which of the beatitudes is my favorite?