This is a long section from Matthew's Gospel: it may be helpful simply to scan and select a word or phrase that speaks to you:
"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.
‘You are the salt of the earth; but if salt has lost its taste, how can its saltiness be restored? It is no longer good for anything, but is thrown out and trampled under foot.
‘You are the light of the world. A city built on a hill cannot be hidden. No one after lighting a lamp puts it under the bushel basket, but on the lampstand, and it gives light to all in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father in heaven."
Matthew 5: 1-16 (NRSV)
The proclamation of the Kingdom: and where would Jesus have discerned the qualities that contributed to the building up of that Kingdom? From his family life and gentle guidance in reading the Scriptures. He learned that God is a god of love and that the Kingdom is built on gentle virtues - of ordinary kindness, compassion and mercy and courageous witness to this God who makes of simple people light and salt for the world.
There are times in our lives when we meet someone who surprises us. A woman at a bus-stop coping heroically with cancer, preparing to leave a young family behind; a man with learning difficulties who serves with deep reverence on the altar; a young man, also with cancer, taking part in a rounders match - and smiling as, after a moment's hesitation when on the second time he doesn't make first base, he's given out...
Pray for our heroes and heroines - whose faith we admire and aspire to
Mary, Lady of heroic faith,
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