Blessing & Promise – Reflections on the Gospel for Epiphany IV - St. Matthew 5:1-12
Read the Gospel passage here: St. Matthew 5:1-12 Blessed are... What a whirlwind the opening of the Gospel of Matthew is! We started with the genealogy, then the birth narrative, which focused on Joseph and that included the visit of the Magi, the escape to Egypt and the slaughter of the innocents. Then Jesus emerges, is Baptized by John, tested in the wilderness, calls a few disciples and here we are – chapter 5 – ready for Jesus’ first sermon. And what a sermon it is! Just the introduction alone is profound and beautiful. But throughout all of this – chapters 1 through 4 in the Gospel of Matthew, one important theme emerges – Jesus Emmanuel (God saves, through God’s presence) is born into the real world. This is no mythical religious setting. This is a harsh real world filled with suffering and oppression and murder and deceit and intrigue. It is in this context then, that we hear these words: Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the Kingdom of Heaven…..