Tuesday after the Second Sunday after Epiphany
Scripture: St. Matthew 5:1-9 (NKJV)
1 And seeing the multitudes, He went up on a mountain, and when He was seated His disciples came to Him. 2 Then He opened His mouth and taught them, saying: 3 “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. 4 Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted. 5 Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth. 6 Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be filled. 7 Blessed are the merciful, for they shall obtain mercy. 8 Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God. 9 Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God.
Up is down. Right is left. Black is khaki. Jesus preaches one sermon and turns our world upside down. Everything the world believes about the good life is smothered. Everything the prosperity preachers preach is turned to ash. True blessedness is not in having money in your pocket, equity in your home, or a good reputation. True blessedness is not having a life free of anxieties, free from sorrow, and free from pain. Chasing after all these things will not get you true blessedness. It will only get you the opposite.
Instead, being poor and lowly, spiritually speaking, is true blessedness. Those who admit they have nothing to offer God because they are poor in spirit stand to gain everything from God, who graciously gives all good things. Those who know how to mourn this world will receive the comfort of the life of the world to come. The meek will rule with Christ, the ones that hunger for righteousness will be filled up with Christ’s righteousness, and those who show mercy to their fellow man will receive God’s mercy. The pure in heart will see God. The peacemakers will be called sons of God. They will share in the inheritance of Christ, the only-begotten Son of God, which on Earth means trial, tribulation, betrayal, and loss, but in Heaven means everlasting life without sin.
Everything is backwards in the Kingdom of Heaven. Do not be downhearted when life does not seem to be going your way. Do not be downcast when you suffer. For this is the way of Christ, the truly blessed one, Who gives us all He has and makes us blessed ones as well.