Daily Capsule - Fr Francis Afu
29 Jan 2017
Capsule for the Day
Matthew's version of the beatitude qualifies the poor. He didn't say blessed are the poor, but the poor in spirit. The addition of "in spirit" gives a rich meaning to the first beatitude. First, it disabuses our minds of the false understanding that reduces the beatitude to the materially poor.
To be materially poor doesn't give us a guarantee to be blessed or happy. What makes us happy is the qualifier "in spirit". Matthew added this phrase to draw our attention to a different kind of poverty, the poverty of the self, the ego, pride, they call it. It is the poverty of John the Baptist lived.
"I will decrease and He will increase". This is the spirit of the Christian life. Christ must increase in us, in order for us to be blessed or truly happy. So, blessed are the poor in spirit is a call to depend on God; to let God be God; a call to acknowledge we can't do it on our own. We need help - God
Fr. Francis Afu