Listen Now. We will now be including the daily reading of Epistle and Gospel with The Prayer Team.
Seeing the crowds, Jesus went up on the mountain, and when He sat down His disciples came to Him. And He opened His mouth and taught them, saying: Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Matthew 5:1-3
Good morning Prayer Team!
Our new Prayer Team unit for the next couple of weeks will focus on the Beatitudes, sometimes called “The Prescriptions for Daily Living.” The Beatitudes were given by the Lord as part of the Sermon on the Mount in Matthew 5. They each begin with the words “Blessed are those” who are doing something that is pleasing to God. It continually amazes me how a person can focus on only a few verses of scripture, and if they commit the words and associated actions to memory, they are well on the way to a Christian life that pleases God and will be blessed by God in return.
What the world says: Blessed are the pushers, those who assert themselves, for they are the ones who get on in the world.
What the Lord says:
Be humble. If you think you are humble, you are not.
Humility is to empty yourself of pride.
One who is “poor” has nothing. In this context, one who has “nothing” must put his whole hope in God. The humble person is the person who feels a desperate need for God and is utterly certain that only in God can his needs be satisfied.
St. John Chrysostom teaches us to regard nothing as our own, that we see everything as a temporary loan.
Humility does not make us doormats, nor does it mean that we should continuously cringe before God. Instead we are supposed to see other people as being valuable in God’s eyes as we are, and developing a kind of empathy with the weaknesses of others that makes it impossible to judge others out of self-righteousness.
Poor in spirit means to have a total dependence on God. That is faith. Poor in spirit means to recognize that we are not worthy of Christ, like the tax collector in Luke 18:9-14, who would not even lift his eyes towards heaven, but said “God have mercy on me a sinner.”
How do we become poor in spirit? By continually repenting or our sins. By realizing that we all have a ways to go in our faith journey. And by continually glorifying God, rather than ourselves.
Almighty Lord, help me to be humble today. Help me to not judge others. Help me to give glory to You in all that I do today. Help me to empty myself of my own pride so that I can be filled with Your love and Your strength, so that I can experience Your joy. Amen.
Keep your focus on the Lord today!