Today’s Gospel is the beginning of the Sermon on the Mount that begins with the “Beatitudes.” Jesus’ teaching in the beatitudes and the whole Sermon on the Mount is not classroom teaching, thus we need to listen with our hearts not our ears. The first and most significant Beatitude is: “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the Kingdom of Heaven.” In other words, “Oh, how blissful it is to realize our own helplessness.” That may sound strange but when we finally trust our whole selves entirely to God, we are more able to enter the reign of God. Do any of us really believe that? We say “Thy Kingdom come,” but many have no intention of seriously believing Jesus. But know that in the Beatitudes, Jesus is pouring out His heart to tell us to “Follow our bliss!” That is, follow the bliss that comes from knowing our poorness and our weakness. The more we become like Jesus in His poverty and emptiness, the more we hear God’s voice, and jump up to say,”Send me!”
Being willing to recognize our total dependence on God is not easy. St. Anselm wrote this: “Hope of my heart, strength of my soul, help of my weakness, by Your powerful kindness complete what in my powerlessness I attempt… although I have not yet attained to love You as I ought, still let my desire for You be as great as my love ought to be.” Amen.