The Beatitudes
M Mons. Vincenzo Paglia

Gospel (Mt 5,1-12) - At that time, seeing the crowds, Jesus went up the mountain and, sitting down, his disciples approached him. Then speaking, he taught them, saying: «Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted. Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth. Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for justice, for they will be satisfied. Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy. Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God. Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God. Blessed are those persecuted for the sake of justice, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are you when they insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me. Rejoice and rejoice, for great is your reward in heaven. In fact, this is how they persecuted the prophets before you."

The commentary on the Gospel by Monsignor Vincenzo Paglia

The liturgy of the Church from today introduces us to the continued reading of the Gospel of Matthew. And it begins with the "beatitudes" that open the well-known Sermon on the Mount. Jesus wants to show those crowds the path to bliss, to happiness. The psalms had already accustomed the believers of Israel to the true meaning of beatitude: "Blessed is the man who has placed his trust in the Lord", "blessed is the man who cares for the weak", "blessed is the man who in you trust." Jesus states that blessed are men and women who are poor in spirit, that is, the humble (those who trusted in God and not in riches). And blessed are also the merciful, the afflicted, the meek, those who hunger for righteousness, the pure in heart, those who are persecuted for righteousness' sake, and even those who are insulted and persecuted for his name's sake. Even to us today they may appear distant. Jesus wants true, full, lasting happiness for us. We normally care about living a little better, just being a little calmer. Some speak of a world of “sad passions”. Precisely this extraneousness to the culture of the majority makes the page of the Beatitudes a true Gospel, a true "good news". They tear us away from an increasingly banal life and push us towards an existence full of meaning, a deeper joy than we can imagine. They are not too loud for us, any more than they were for the crowd that heard them first. The Beatitudes have a human face: the face of Jesus. He is the poor man, the meek man and hungry for justice, the passionate and merciful man, the man persecuted and put to death. Let us look at him and follow him; we too will be blessed.