All Saints
Reading I: Apocalypse II: 1 John 3:1-3
Matthew 5:1-12

1 Seeing the crowds, he went up on the mountain, and when he sat down his disciples came to him.
2 And he opened his mouth and taught them, saying:
3 "Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
4 "Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.
5 "Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth.
6 "Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied.
7 "Blessed are the merciful, for they shall obtain mercy.
8 "Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.
9 "Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God.
10 "Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness' sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
11 "Blessed are you when men revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account.
12 Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven, for so men persecuted the prophets who were before you.

Interesting Details
One Main Point


The eight beatitudes express poetically one main idea: those who know that they need God (the poor in spirit) will inherit the Kingdom of God when He comes again. All eight rewards have to do with final coming of Christ. The first and last rewards are the same: Kingdom of Heaven (meaning Kingdom of God). The third reward, land, meaning earth, forms a pair with Heaven (heaven and earth) to mean everything. Other rewards (full justice, mercy, seeing God) are awarded on judgment day [Cleary, Harrington].

  1. Observe the setting, the words, the gestures, the tone of voice, etc. of Jesus on the mount. How does he feel? How do people around him react? Where am I in the scene, and how do I react?
  2. Looking at the way I live, do I recognize my poverty, my dependence on God? Do I rely on my brain, beauty, and bucks instead?
  3. Once recognizing my helplessness, do I trust in the promise of the Kingdom of God? If I do, should I experience peace? When?
  4. If this culture advocates brain, beauty and buck while I rely on God instead, I might be persecuted the way Christians were persecuted by Jews at the time this Gospel was written. What forms of persecution may fall my way, and would I be willing to accept them?

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A synthesis by the Vietnamese Christian Life (Dong Hanh) Community

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