“Blessed are the poor in spirit”

by Sister Barbara Jean Mihalchick, OSBM
Sisters of St. Basil the Great
Mount St. Macrina, Uniontown, Pa.

Glory to Jesus Christ!
Today we begin a long series on the Beatitudes that Jesus offered us in the Gospel of Matthew.
With this teaching, He begins the Sermon on the Mount, a whole long discourse about many aspects of life and God, and the Light of God, describing also what God is like.
The whole sermon is a lifetime’s challenge. But the Beatitudes is an encapsulation. It gives us “flashes of lightning” in looking at the life of Jesus Himself; life in the Kingdom of God.
These “flashes” show us the “interior.” If Jesus could say, “This is what God is like on the inside. This is what Jesus is like in his depths.” That’s what He is explaining to us in the Beatitudes. And still holding them out as something we should reach to live by His Grace!
The very first one is: “Blessed are the poor in spirit.” Here, He is talking about openness before God; He is talking about humility. Here Jesus talks about a “spirit” which is not very much like the American spirit or the spirit of our times because in order to get ahead we’ve been taught how much we need to reach out and be in charge. People who want to get ahead study leadership, buy those books and try to put those aspects into power in their lives.
But Jesus is saying “trust God.” Jesus is saying “come to Me, ask for what you need, trust that God is with you.” And that God doesn’t need to be managed by us, which is so often our tendency, isn’t it?
We would like God to see things our way, do things our way. But I think of Jesus at the Last Supper dialogue; I compare it to this. He’s about to leave His disciples with the huge challenge of taking His message to all the world. And He says, “Wait for the Holy Spirit. Wait for the help that will be given you and place your trust in Me.”
Today, we live in that Church, in that Kingdom, in that grace that has spread to all the world and has come to fill our lives with Him in ever-flowing love and grace.
May we be poor in spirit and place our trust in our Loving God.
God bless you.

Sister Barbara Jean Mihalchick posts videos of her reflections each week on the Facebook page of the Sisters of St. Basil the Great.
They may be viewed at: https://www.facebook.com/sistersofstbasil.uniontown/.
This is a transcript of her July 10. 2020 reflection.