Monday - Ordinary Time
1) Opening prayer
God of wisdom and love,
source of all good,
send your Spirit to teach us your truth
and guide our actions
in your way of peace.
We ask this through our Lord Jesus Christ,
who lives and reigns with you and the Holy
one God, for ever and ever. Amen.
2) Gospel Reading - Matthew 5,1-12
crowds, Jesus went onto the mountain. And when he was seated his disciples came
Then he began
to speak. This is what he taught them:
How blessed are
the poor in spirit: the kingdom of Heaven is theirs.
Blessed are the
gentle: they shall have the earth as inheritance.
those who mourn: they shall be comforted.
those who hunger and thirst for uprightness: they shall have their fill.
Blessed are the
merciful: they shall have mercy shown them.
Blessed are the
pure in heart: they shall see God.
Blessed are the
peacemakers: they shall be recognised as children of God.
those who are persecuted in the cause of uprightness: the kingdom of Heaven is
you when people abuse you and persecute you and speak all kinds of calumny
against you falsely on my account. Rejoice and be glad, for your reward will be
great in heaven; this is how they persecuted the prophets before you.
• From today, beginning of the 10th week of
Ordinary Time, up to the end of the 21st Week of Ordinary time, the daily
Gospels are taken from the Gospel of Matthew. Starting from the beginning of
the 22nd week of Ordinary Time, up to the end of the Liturgical
Year, the Gospels are taken from the Gospel of Luke.
• In Matthew’s Gospel written for the
communities of the converted Jews of Galilee and Syria, Jesus is presented as
the New Moses, the new legislator. In the Old Testament the Law of Moses was
codified in five books: Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers and Deuteronomy. Imitating
the ancient model, Matthew presents the New Law in five great discourses spread
over in the Gospel: a) the Sermon on the Mountain (Mt 5,1 to 7,29); b) the
Discourse on the Mission (Mt 10,1-42); c) The Discourse of the Parables (Mt
13,1-52); d) The Discourse of the Community (Mt 18,1-35); e) The Discourse of
the Future of the Kingdom (Mt 24,1 a 25,46). The narrative parts, which have
been put in among the five Discourses, describe the practice of Jesus and show
how He observed the New Law and incarnated it in his life.
• Matthew 5, 1-2: The solemn
announcement of the New Law. In agreement with the context of the Gospel of
Matthew, in the moment when Jesus pronounces the Discourse on the Mountain,
there were only four disciples with him (cf. Mt 4, 18-22). Few people. But an
immense multitude was behind him (Mt 4, 25). In the Old Testament, Moses went
up to Mount Sinai to receive the Law of God. As it happened to Moses, Jesus
went up to the Mountain, and seeing the crowd, he proclaimed the New Law. The
solemn way in which Matthew introduces the proclamation of the New Law is
significant: “Seeing the crowds, he went onto the mountain. And when he was
seated his disciples came to him. Then he began to speak. This is what he
taught them: How blessed are the poor in spirit, the kingdom of Heaven is
theirs”. The eight Beatitudes open in a solemn way the “Discourse on the
Mountain” – the sermon on the Mountain. In them Jesus defines who can be
considered blessed, who can enter into the Kingdom. There are eight categories
of persons, eight entrance doors to the Kingdom, for the community. There are
no other entrances! Anyone who wants to enter into the Kingdom should identify
himself with at least one of these eight categories.
• Matthew 5, 3: Blessed are the poor in
spirit. Jesus acknowledges the richness and the value of the poor
(Mt 11, 25-26). He defines his own mission in these words: “to proclaim the
Good News to the poor” (Lk 4, 18). He himself lives poorly. He possesses
nothing for himself, not even a stone where to rest his head (Mt 88, 20). And
to anyone who wants to follow him, he orders to choose: God or money! (Mt 6,
24). In Luke’s Gospel it is said: “Blessed are you who are poor!” (Lk 6,20).
But who is poor in spirit? It is the poor person who has the same spirit that animated Jesus. It is not the rich person, neither the poor person who
has the mentality of a rich person. But rather it is the poor person who acts
as Jesus, he thinks of the poor and recognizes the value in him. It is the poor
person who says: “I think that the world will be better when the little one who
suffers thinks of the least.
1. Blessed the poor in spirit => for
theirs is the Kingdom of Heaven
2. Blessed the meek => they shall have
the earth as inheritance
3. Blessed those who mourn => they will
4. Blessed those who hunger and thirst for
justice => they shall have their fill
5. Blessed are the merciful => they
shall have mercy shown them
6. Blessed are the pure in heart => they
shall see God
7. Blessed are the peacemakers => they
shall be recognized children of God
8. Blessed those persecuted in the cause of
justice => theirs is the Kingdom of Heaven.
• Matthew 5, 4-9: The new project of
life. Every time that in the Bible they try to renew the Covenant, they
begin by re-establishing the rights of the poor and of the excluded. Without
this, the Covenant cannot be renewed! This is the way the Prophets did, this is
how Jesus did. In the Beatitudes, he announces the new Project of God which
accepts the poor and the excluded. It denounces the system which excludes the
poor and which persecutes those who fight for justice. The first category of
the “poor in spirit” and the last category of those “persecuted for
the cause of justice” receive the same promise of the Kingdom of Heaven. And
they receive it beginning now, in the present, because Jesus says: “theirs is the Kingdom!” The Kingdom is already present in their life. Between the first
and the last category, there are six others categories which receive the
promise of the Kingdom. In them there is the new project of life which wants to
reconstruct life totally through a new type of relationship: with material
goods (the first two); with persons among themselves (2nd two); with God (3rd two). The Christian community should be
an example of this Kingdom, a place where the Kingdom begins ands takes shape,
form beginning now.
• The three duos: First one: the
meek and those who mourn: the meek are those poor of whom Psalm 37
speaks. They have been deprived of their land and they will inherit it again
(Ps 37, 11; cf. Ps 22.214.171.124). Those who mourn are those who weep in the face
of injustices in the world and in people (cf. Ps 119,136; Ez 9,4; Tb 13,16; 2 P
2,7). These two Beatitudes want to reconstruct the relationship with material
goods: the possession of the land and of the reconciled world.
Second duo: those who hunger
and thirst for justice and the merciful: Those who are hungry and
thirsty for justice are those who desire to renew human living together, in
such a way that once again it may be according to the demands of justice. The merciful are those who feel in their heart the misery of others because they want to
eliminate the inequality between brothers and sisters. These two Beatitudes
want to reconstruct the relationship among persons through the practice of
justice and solidarity.
Third duo: The pure in heart and the
peacemakers: The pure in heart are those who have a contemplative
look which allows them to perceive the presence of God in everything. Those who
promote peace, the peacemakers, will be called children of God, because
they make an effort so that a new experience of God can penetrate in everything
and can integrate all things. These two Beatitudes want to build up the
relationship with God: to see the presence of God which acts in everything, and
be called son and daughter of God.
• Matthew 5, 10-12: The persecuted for
the cause of justice and of the Gospel. The Beatitudes say exactly the
contrary of what society in which we live says. In fact, in society, those who
are persecuted for the cause of justice are considered as unhappy, wretched
persons. The poor is unhappy. Blessed is the one who has money and can go to
the Supermarket and spend as he wishes. Blessed is the one who is hungry for
power. The unhappy and wretched are the poor, those who weep! In television,
the novels diffuse this myth of the happy and fulfilled person. And without
being aware, the novels become the model of life for many of us. Is there still
place in our society for these words of Jesus: “Blessed are those who are
persecuted for the cause of justice and of the Gospel? Blessed are the poor! Blessed
are those who weep!”? And according to me, being a Christian, in fact, who is
4) Personal questions
• We all want to be happy. All of us! But
are we truly happy? Why yes? Why no? How can we understand that a person can be
poor and happy at the same time?
• In which moments of your life have you
felt truly happy? Was it a happiness like the one proclaimed by Jesus in the Beatitudes,
or was it of another type?
5) Concluding Prayer
I lift up my
eyes to the mountains;
where is my
help to come from?
My help comes
who made heaven
and earth. (Ps 121,1-2)