One Monk of the Order of Saint Benedict

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The Word of God and the Body of God reveal each other -- the homily worships both.

June 11, 2006

For Monday of the Tenth Ordinary Week of the Church Year

Matthew 5:1-12

Today in his Gospel, our Lord gives us a picture of persons who are blessed— holy persons who are also happy in the deepest and longest-lasting sense of the word.
Blessed are the poor in spirit,
for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

Those who are poor in spirit keep in mind and take to heart that they own a real treasure in heaven.
They are grateful for that and for any real goods that life has already given them.
They avoid self-pity and complaining, even when they suffer.
They avoid envy, greed and self-enrichment by false means.
Blessed are they who mourn,
for they will be comforted.

It is a blessed thing to acknowledge our real losses, not to deny them.
The refusal to mourn our losses can be the dangerous fuel for taking revenge.
It is hard to mourn, but it is an honest thing to do.
Blessed are the meek,
for they will inherit the land.

Meekness is not weakness.
A meek person owns and knows himself, and does not seek to be controlling, arrogant or domineering in order to be something that he is not.
Blessed are they who hunger and thirst for righteousness,
for they will be satisfied.

To hunger and thirst for righteousness is to practice zeal, devotion, piety, reverence, respect and justice.
It is to reject and refuse injustice and dishonesty—as well as cynicism.
Blessed are the merciful,
for they will be shown mercy.

The merciful forgive.
They don’t necessarily win over their offenders, but let them be without wishing them harm, rather, desiring their authentic and eternal welfare.
Blessed are the clean of heart,
for they will see God.

To be pure in heart is to be obedient to true priorities; to keep God always in first place; to be ready to repent, always ready to admit one’s own wrongdoing.
Blessed are the peacemakers,
for they will be called children of God.

Peacemaking children of God are first of all at peace with God.
This may bring them the enmity of others.
However, it may also win over their enemies to make their own peace with God.
Without making peace with God, no lasting peace is possible between neighbors.
Blessed are they who are persecuted for the sake of righteousness….
Blessed are you when they insult you…
and utter every kind of evil against you falsely because of me.

It is a blessed thing to speak up against wrong.
It is blessed to stand up for the authentic cause of Christ and be willing to suffer injustice with dignity.

That God Be Glorified in All


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