God is enough for me
✠ A reading from the holy Gospel according to Matthew (5:1-12)
1. When Jesus saw the crowds, he went up the mountain, and after he had sat down, his disciples came to him.He began to teach them, saying: “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
Blessed are they who mourn, for they will be comforted.
Blessed are the meek,
for they will inherit the land.
Blessed are they who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be satisfied.
Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy.
Blessed are the clean of heart, for they will see God.
Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God.
Blessed are they who are persecuted for the sake of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
Blessed are you when they insult you and persecute you and utter every kind of evil against you falsely because of me. Rejoice and be glad, for your reward will be great in heaven.”
2. The three readings of this Sunday focus on the help of God for the weak. The Prophet Zephaniah that we listened to in the first reading (Zep 2:3; 3:12-13) carried out his prophetic mission during the interegnum between the reign of Manasseh and the reforms of King Josiah. At that time the land was polluted with foreign gods, the trading wealthy class was unjust, the prophets were faithless and the priests profaned what was sacred. The prophet foresaw a time when God will draw the weak and the poor to himself and make them to inherit the land while the powerful will be punished and rejected. The weak will find their joy and strength in the Lord and will respect his laws.
3. The gospel comes as the fulfilment of the prophecy. In the beatitudes Jesus declared blessed those whom the society considers aa being weak: the poor, those who mourn, the gentle, those who hunger for justice, the merciful, the chaste, the peace makers and the persecuted. These are not considered powerful in the society but Jesus says that they are blessed, they should be happy. Why?
4. The answer is to be found in the personality of Jesus who embodies all the attitudes of the beatitude. Jesus was poor, meek, peaceful, worked for justice, was persecuted but he is blessed because God was always with him. Practicing the beatitudes remains the easiest way to keep God’s friendship. Having God as friend is being truly blessed.
5. By showing God’s preference for the weak over the powerful and declaring the former happy Jesus sends a clear message to his followers, namely that he who is with God must be happy because God is sufficient in every situation. He invites his followers to practice the beatitudes. Each of the beatitudes is attached to a blessing. They become the principles of happiness. Practicing them may present one as a weakling but in them God is found. He who seeks God should seek him in the beatitudes.
6. God has chosen you in your nothingness, as you read in today’s second reading(1 Cor 1:26-31). He is enough for you if you trust him. In his company you can remain happy even in times difficulty. Make effort to appreciate the beatitudes and practice at least one of them. If every month of this year you deliberately choose to practice one of the beatitudes you will end the year being truly blessed. You will discover that God alone is enough for those who trust in him. ©Vita, 29/01/23