thoughts and observations on the daily readings
Monday of the 10th Week in Ordinary Time
Readings may be found here
The Beatitudes proclaimed by Jesus in the Gospel of Matthew today open the famous section of this gospel known as the “Sermon on the Mount.” These verses have a poetic cast to them even as they offer a very challenging vision of discipleship.
From a worldly perspective, it is difficult to assert that the poor, the meek, and the mourning are all that blessed. The usual human perspective is to see those who are wealthy, influential, beautiful, and famous as the blessed. Is this passage with its surprising reversal of worldly values just a beautiful ideal or impossible vision?
The answer, of course is no. Jesus never offers mere ideals. He summons us in this passage to a new perspective, that of the kingdom, and a concrete new way of living. He pierces the illusion of worldly values and demands that we see the world and others from God’s perspective. God, Who is love and compassion, has a preference for those who struggle and suffer. Jesus’ teaching brings us into that kingdom where the poor and vulnerable are front and center. Jesus also reveals that this call, as impossible as it may seem on the surface, is possible. He does this by living it: read the whole of Matthew’s Gospel and you will begin to appreciate that the Beatitudes are a summary of Jesus’ own life and ministry. He does not ask of us what He will not, and has not, already done. He challenges us to real change in our perspective and in our living.