Gospel – Matthew 5:1-12

When Jesus saw the crowds, he went up the mountain,
and after he had sat down, his disciples came to him.
He began to teach them, saying:

“Blessed are the poor in spirit,
for theirs is the Kingdom of heaven.
Blessed are they who mourn,
for they will be comforted.
Blessed are the meek,
for they will inherit the land.
Blessed are they who hunger and thirst for righteousness,
for they will be satisfied.
Blessed are the merciful,
for they will be shown mercy.
Blessed are the clean of heart,
for they will see God.
Blessed are the peacemakers,
for they will be called children of God.
Blessed are they who are persecuted for the sake of righteousness,
for theirs is the Kingdom of heaven.
Blessed are you when they insult you and persecute you
and utter every kind of evil against you falsely because of me.
Rejoice and be glad,
for your reward will be great in heaven.”

Reflection on the Gospel

Let us remember that we are in the holy presence of God.

The Beatitudes are a wonderful reminder for all of us that we are called to be a people of contradiction. We are called to be different from what the world demands us to be. We are called to be counter-cultural; we are meant to stand beside those who mourn, stand up for those in harms way by being peacemakers, and to stand firm in our Christian principles and convictions. By standing apart from society we learn to rely more greatly upon God for help and guidance. This is exactly what Jesus was doing, he was literally outside of the culture while giving his Sermon on the Mount, away from the society he was living in. He challenged his followers to leave society and it’s ills to come and be refreshed and renewed at the true spring of salvation, Jesus’s word. We are promised two things if we accept the challenge the Beatitudes offer, first, we are promised persecution and insults and secondly we are promised a great reward in Heaven and recognition as children of God. These two appear at face value to be contradictions two polar opposites, one we want, one we don’t, but ultimately they offer us the challenge to be signs of contradiction for others. By bearing insults and persecution for the sake of righteousness we tell others that it is always worth being a disciple of Jesus, even if our reward isn’t until we are united with Him in heaven!

Mr. Michael Stewart
La Salle Academy – New York, NY

Saint John Baptist de La Salle – Pray for us.
Live, Jesus, in our hearts – Forever.