Poor in Spirit – Matthew 5:1-12a Reflection
In one sweeping poetic way, in the Beatitudes, Jesus teaches us how to understand the opportunity of the kingdom of heaven. The Beatitude that has resonated with me for my entire life is “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.” One meaning of being poor in spirit is knowing more is available and realizing that you do not have all of it yet. Being poor in spirit creates a constant yearning and wonderous hunger. No matter how the Beatitudes resonate, we can prepare to look past the partial and forward to the fullness of heaven. Beatitudes help us learn and practice being saintly people. Among other attributes, to be blessed in any of these ways means that self-decreases the desire to help others increases. In the context of Jesus’s desire for us, they are the qualities of Christ that we can consume to become fully human and fully divine.
The full-resolution painting and more details are available on the Brooklyn Museum website.
Matthew 5:1-12a and Matthew 5:1-12 – Scripture*
When Jesus saw the crowds, he went up the mountain; and after he sat down, his disciples came to him. 2 Then he began to speak, and taught them, saying:
3 “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
4 “Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted.
5 “Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth.
6 “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled.
7 “Blessed are the merciful, for they will receive mercy.
8 “Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God.
9 “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God.
10 “Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
11 “Blessed are you when people revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account. 12 Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.
Thank you for meditating on this Gospel and reading this Lectio Divina on Matthew 5:1-12a Reflection – Poor in Spirit.
Would you like to contribute related thoughts to these Lectio reflections on the Gospel readings? Since Lectio is not the only contemplative payer style, others might appreciate these types of expressions in this ministry. Do you see God’s grandeur everywhere and unconditionally enjoy sharing the love of Christ that you have inside? Are you willing to be anonymous in what you would share? If so, email me.
Prayer for young families:
Lord, let the young families of our communities get to know your joy, peace, comfort, and love despite worldly distractions.
*This site has permission to use the New Revised Standard Version Catholic Edition (NRSVCE) Bible Matthew 5 passage.
Discussion group on St. John of the Cross.
Page on Lectio Divina daily Gospel Readings.