Prayer: O Jesus, let me seek your ever-abundant blessings.
Imagination: (Picture Jesus teaching his disciples.)
To understand the gospels, look carefully at the audience. When Jesus teaches the crowds, he is inviting them to join his Kingdom. When Jesus teaches his disciples, he explains the mysteries and duties of the Kingdom. Here, he talks of the duties and blessings of the Kingdom, or, the opposite, the evils for not choosing the Kingdom.
Gospel Text: (Read slowly, possibly aloud).
Jesus raised his eyes to his disciples and said:
Blessed are you poor, for yours is the Kingdom of God.
Blessed are you who hunger now, for you shall be filled.
Blessed are you who weep now, for you shall laugh.
Blessed shall you be when men shall hate you, and ostracize you and insult you and call you evil for the sake of the Son of Man. On the day they do so, rejoice and exult, for your reward shall be great in heaven. Thus it was that your fathers treated the prophets.
But woe to you rich, for your consolation is now.
Woe to you who are filled, for you shall hunger.
Woe to you who now laugh, for you shall mourn.
Woe to you when all speak well of you. Their fathers treated the false prophets in just that way.
Thoughts: (Read all. Ponder the ones that attract you.)
- Notice the contrast between the present and the future. When the Kingdom comes everything is reversed.
- The poor become rich. The hungry are filled. The sorrowful laugh and the persecuted rejoice.
- The disciples will experience poverty, hunger, difficulties and criticism. They must see this as a road to the Kingdom’s blessings.
- Some disciples will reject Jesus and choose riches, comforts, merriment and praise. Jesus warns that these earthly favors will pass away.
- Jesus promises what is future. The disciples must believe and persevere.
- Others must be shaken out of their comforts. Otherwise, they will not find the Kingdom.
Affections: (When one touches your heart, use your own words.)
- Jesus, help me to sacrifice the present to gain a future glory.
- When I experience poverty I will think of the riches you have for me.
- When I experience hunger, I will think of my place at the heavenly banquet.
- When I weep because of injustice, I will think of the joy of being with you forever.
- When I am criticized because of you, I will think of your praise and your words, “Come into my Kingdom.”
- Jesus, never let me disappoint you.
- May I never hear a rebuke from your lips.
Resolutions: (Possibly you might want to make your own.)
- I will make little sacrifices for Jesus today.
- I will think often of my heavenly reward. This will delight Jesus.
Thought for the Day: (To recall your meditation)
Your reward shall be great in heaven.