Thursday, January 27, 2011

Gospel Text for Sunday, January 30, 2011

Matthew 5:1-12

When Jesus saw the crowds, he went up the mountain; and after he sat down, his disciples came to him. Then he began to speak, and 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 righteousness, for they will be filled. "Blessed are the merciful, for they will receive 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 who are persecuted for righteousness' sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. "Blessed are you when people revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account. Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.”

1 comment:

  1. During a hospital ethics committee meeting in Phoenix, Arizona, Sister Margaret McBride, a Roman Catholic nun, weighed in in favor of the physicians decision to terminate a pregnancy to save the life of a 27 year old mother of four children. For this act of compassion Sr. Margaret was excommunicated from the Roman Catholic Church. When the hospital where all of this took place refused to fire Sr. Margaret the Roman Bishop Olmsted excommunicated the entire hospital.
    The NYTimes article (click on link at upper right corner of this blog) aptly noted, “This battle illuminates two rival religious approaches, within the Catholic church and any spiritual tradition. One approach focuses upon dogma, sanctity, rules and the punishment of sinners. The other exalts compassion for the needy and mercy for sinners — and, perhaps, above all, inclusiveness… If you look at Bishop Olmsted and Sr. Margaret as the protagonists in this battle, one of them truly seems to me to have emulated the life of Jesus. And it’s not the bishop… It’s Sister Margaret... Then along comes Bishop Olmsted to excommunicate the Christ-like figure in our story.” I just scratch my head and wonder!
    Jesus said, “Blessed are the merciful…blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.” The disciples must have been scratching their heads and crinkling their brows as Jesus taught them what it is to be blessed in God’s kingdom. The blessing of God seems foolish to the wisdom of the world that favors the rich and invulnerable, the powerful and self-assured, the warriors and winners and rulers, the people with titles that sit in high places. But Jesus did not say theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
    Jesus assured the disciples and us, the blessing of God is upon those whose hearts are inclined to mercy and compassion, who live and breath and represent the qualities of heart and mind and action that Jesus the Christ exemplified in his life and ministry. Surely Sr. Margaret and the people of St. Joseph’s hospital are blessed and assured their place in the kingdom of heaven. Are you?