Sunday, February 15, 2004


Blessed are you poor, for yours is the kingdom of God (Luke 6:20).

What does it mean for us to be poor? Jesus was poor. Even at His crucifixion, He was stripped of his garments leaving Him with nothing material. In Philipians, St. Paul makes the point that Jesus, "did not count equality with God something to be grasped, but emptied Himself, taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of man" (2:6-7). Jesus became poor for us. He came to serve, and not to be served.

Poverty of spirit, as St. Matthew renders the beatitude, is rightly understanding who we are and what God wants us to do. Jesus us calls us to deny ourselves, take up our cross, and to follow Him. We must deny that part of us that cannot be poor in spirit. We must renounce that which is in us that cannot submit to the Lord of life because we cling to our view of how things are.

In the Lord's economy, the poor are able to see God because their eyes are open to His providence and His love. Jesus addressed the beatitudes in St. Luke's Gospel to the disciples. He was calling them to follow Him by being poor like even He was. Throughout the Gospels, the disciples struggle to see Jesus for who He is--the Son of God who has come to give up His life as a ransom for many. Through poverty, the disciples can see who He is. By giving up all that they had to follow Him and by submitting to His authority, they are eventually able to recognize that Jesus is the Messiah, who has not come to remove the yoke of Roman oppression, but the yoke of sin. As St. Luke records in Acts, St. Peter was able to see who Jesus is and that His resurrection was the fulfillment of the prophecies of the Messiah who would be greater than David.

May we too be poor enough to see who Jesus is and what He wants us to do for Him.

Posted by David at 1:45 PM  |  Comments (0)  | 


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