Matthew 5:1–12 Trust in God’s Strength
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Jesus begins the Sermon on the Mount with a series of blessings. “Blessed are…” Jesus says, again and again. In the Latin Vulgate, these all begin with the word “beati” which translates as “blessed” or “happy.” Thus, this portion of the sermon is often called “The Beatitudes.” It had to give Jesus’ listeners pause. For what Jesus calls blessed, the world never would. The world praises the strong and the self-sufficient. Jesus calls blessed what others would see as weak or stupid. But, like any good preacher, Jesus is trying to drive home one crucial point. The weaker you are, the more ready you are to rely on God’s strength. The more difficult your present circumstances, the likelier you are to yearn for future reward. All the readings for today teach this truth. We have no real strength or wisdom of our own. But we don’t need it. Because God’s strength is enough to give the kingdom of heaven to the humble and poor in spirit.