Last week we heard Saint Matthew describing the beginnings of Jesus’ public ministry. This week Saint Matthew begins the most important summary of the proclamation of the kingdom of God – what we refer to as the “Sermon on the Mount.” This great collection of Jesus’ teachings begins with the Beatitudes – the Charter of the Kingdom. It is essential to understand these, if we are to understand what we will read in Saint Matthew during the rest of this year: the key, as underlined by the First Reading, is that the values of this world are not the values of the Kingdom of God – the Kingdom will see things turned upside down: happiness and blessing belong to those whom this world would ignore or mistreat. If we truly wish to live out the Gospel, we would do well to reflect on the virtues laid out in this familiar passage.
It is the Lord who keeps faith for ever, who is just to those who are oppressed.
It is he who gives bread to the hungry, the Lord, who sets prisoners free.
It is the Lord who gives sight to the blind, who raises up those who are bowed down,
the Lord, who protects the stranger and upholds the widow and orphan.
It is the Lord who loves the just but thwarts the path of the wicked.
The Lord will reign for ever, Zion’s God, from age to age.
First Reading: Zephaniah 2:3; 3:12-13
Second Reading: 1 Cor 1:26-31
Gospel: Mathew 5:1-12