Today’s reading introduces a section in Matthew’s Gospel often referred to as the “Sermon on the Mount” (5:1—7:29). The sermon begins with blessings and teachings (verses 3-16) and with Jesus describing a vision of God’s realm. What Jesus teaches constitutes a description of an alternative community – one that stands in sharp contrast to an imperial empire that values power, wealth, and status.
Today’s Key Verse: Matthew 5:16
“In the same way your light must shine before people, so that they will see the good things you do and praise your Father in heaven.”
Verses 3-12 are often referred to as Beatitudes. In a number of Bible translations, these nine statements begin with the word “blessed.” The word “beatitude” is another word for “blessing” (or true happiness) and declares God’s favor. Reread these verses. Whom does God favor? Why? What do they say to you about how the realm of God is envisioned? What do you think it means to be “salt for the whole human race” (verse 13) and “light for the whole world” (verse 14)?
Lord Jesus, thank you for teaching me about God’s love. Help me to follow you and to be salt and light so that others will come to know you. May my actions this day be a reflection of your teachings and give glory to God. Amen.
People suffering under oppressive regimes.
Matthew 5:21-48: Jesus sheds new light on the Scriptures.
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