Blessed are you who are poor, for the kingdom of God is yours. Perhaps when we read Jesus’s opening to the Beatitudes, we may focus on the financially poor. Do you think Jesus is telling us to be without money or possessions? We know that there is a depth of meaning that Jesus intended for us in the word poor. Jesus intended the word poor to describe someone who puts their total trust in God. They do not depend on the things of this world to be happy. Jesus Christ is the source of their happiness. The poor at the time of Christ, perhaps were more disposed to placing their trust in God. The poor referred to not only those without material wealth, but without influence or power or those being exploited or taken advantage of in some way.
Jeremiah echoes the words of Jesus in today’s first reading. Blessed is the one who trusts in the Lord, whose hope is the Lord. Jeremiah was telling the people of his day to not place trust in that which is passing away, but that which is of God, and therefore eternal. The image of a barren bush in the desert vs. a tree planted besides the waters, provide a vivid picture of not trusting vs. trusting in God. It fears not the heat when it comes; it leaves stay green; in the year of drought it shows no distress, but still bears fruit. Both Jeremiah and Jesus are telling us that when we experience challenges, trials and the stresses of life, we place our trust in our God.
The promise of beatitude, of sharing in the life of the Trinity through all eternity confronts us to make decisions. The root of happiness is not found in power, money, wealth or comfort, but in God alone. God alone is the source of everything. Blessed are those who trust in the Lord. God bless us all always! Deacon Mike