Key Text

Matthew 5:1-12

When Jesus saw the crowds, he went up the mountain; and after he sat down, his disciples came to him. Then he began to speak, and taught them, saying:"
Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted.
Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth.
Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled.
Blessed are the merciful, for they will receive mercy.
Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God.
Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God.
Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness' sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
Blessed are you when people revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account.
Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the
prophets who were before you.

cited from NRSV

 

Image of the week

January 24, 2005

"In your hands"

For last week's image (17 January 2005) click here.

 

Present Context

For Reflection

What does it mean to be "blessed"?

When God blessed Jacob, he was left with a limp for the rest of his life.

God blessed Moses - and Jeremiah - by meeting them and calling them, yet they deeply lamented this blessing.

David received Samuel's anointing and the blessing of God as future king, which set him at odds with Saul and put his life at risk.

Mary was blessed with a visitation, which put her marriage and her reputation at risk.

How easily we pray "God bless us", without fully considering the implications.

How often do we miss a blessing because we are looking for something different?

The things Jesus speaks of in the Beatitudes as worthy of blessing are not characteristics highly sought after in this world. They seem a high cost to pay to be "blessed".

We pray:
Lord, deliver me from cheap blessing into a quality of life which blesses others, and reflects a commitment to their welfare above my own. Do not so much give me a blessing, as make me a blessing.

Help me to see the blessings which are "in my hands", and be thankful.

Amen.