Only in the Kingdom might we find ourselves immersed in the kind of economy wherein mercy is the gold standard. Show me a merciless individual and I will show you the man who hates himself.
Aristocrat and commoner, child and grown-up, we all know hunger. It would have been easy enough to have just said "desire," "long," or "yearn," but there's a very distinct feeling that hunger opens up in us - a craving, a rumble, a primeval urge to satisfy our most elemental need.
The Kingdom that Jesus comes to bring is one that is a reversal of the structures of the age, antithetical to the economy of Rome. This kingdom is open to all, those who find themselves without power, prestige, protection and position—those who cannot do for themselves, these are who are blessed, and these have a heritage.
As we awaken to the state of things, as we are sensitized, we are receiving the heart of a compassionate Father whose heart was on vivid front-row display those three years.
I want us to remember that the Beatitudes, including poverty of spirit, are not some special sort of Christian ethic or a list of rules that we must keep in order to “go to heaven.” Instead, they are supernatural attributes that flow from the people of God because they are being transformed by the grace of God.
So he sits down, in the posture of an authoritative rabbi, and opens his mouth to teach them. And what he says next is the primary subject of this article: “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.”
Jesus not only reveals that the Kingdom has come near to those who seem unfit for it, but also that those who are in this Kingdom possess these attributes that the Beatitudes highlight. They have not attained these attributes or worked their way into being the type of people the Beatitudes describe. No, rather they have been mystically transformed into these kinds of people by the grace of the Father.
Who are the blessed of Matthew 5:1-13?