Our Gospel this week is Matthew 5:1-12, taken today from the Christian Standard Bible (CSB).
When he saw the crowds, he went up on the mountain, and after he sat down, his disciples came to him. Then he began to teach them, saying: “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for the kingdom of heaven is theirs. Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted. Blessed are the humble, 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 be shown mercy. Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God. Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called sons of God. Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness, for the kingdom of heaven is theirs. You are blessed when they insult you and persecute you and falsely say every kind of evil against you because of me. Be glad and rejoice, because your reward is great in heaven. For that is how they persecuted the prophets who were before you.”
Jesus gives a list of traits and behaviors that likely surprised His followers. These don’t sound like the attributes of warriors for the kingdom! Instead, He tells us we must be builders of the kingdom, sharing the invitation to be part of what God is doing.
Yes, He calls us to stand against evil but with the right mindset and tools – God’s word and His love. Many times during His ministry He taught that a child-like faith and serving others was God’s plan for us to help bring His people back. Evil came into the world through our human failure, but through His sacrifice Jesus showed us what was necessary to defeat it.
He calls us to see the problems of the world and care enough to help. God has given us the gifts we need to be successful. If we say “yes Lord” and follow Christ, we become part of His solution.
Loving Lord, we are humbled that You call us to serve as Your representatives here on earth. Show us Your way and let us follow in Your strength. Amen.