10th Week in Ord. Time, Monday – 7th June 2021 — Gospel: Mt 5,1-12
Called to be Righteous
Of all the teachings of Jesus, the Sermon on the Mount is probably the best known, but least understood and least followed. In this segment, the beatitudes are a collection of eight characteristics or qualities of life, that separate the children of God from the rest of the world (5,3-12). These eight beatitudes describe the blessed state of those who humbly submit themselves to the will of God and especially to possess the aspects of being in the kingdom. The first set of four beatitudes describes not personal qualities but oppressive situations of distress or bad fortune, which are honoured or esteemed because God’s reign reverses them. This reversal is underway in Jesus’ ministry, but is not yet complete. The remaining four, and the elaboration in vv.11-12, concern human actions which are honoured or esteemed because they express the qualities of God’s transforming reign. However both the sets close with reference to righteousness, which is the end goal for every Christian to enter into the kingdom (5,20). These are not eight different groups of people (poor, mourners, meek, etc.), but every Christian is meant to manifest every one of these characters.