“Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me. Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.” -Matthew 5:11-12

Jesus begins in the Sermon on the Mount by affirming that everyone in his audience is called, loved, powerful, and valuable. This was remarkable in his day because the religious people in Jesus’ day liked to say some people are out and some people are in, and the way that you get in is by doing things the right way and not being sick. People like lepers and people with bleeding diseases were believed to be cursed by God because of a sin of their parents. There was this system in place where some people were in, and some people were out.  Jesus comes on the scene in the Gospel of Matthew in Chapter 5, and he begins with the beatitudes in which he says that everyone belongs. He begins by saying “blessed are the poor in spirit.” Don’t misunderstand, being poor in spirit is not a virtue. Poor in spirit means you’re spiritually bankrupt. Blessed are you if you mourn. Blessed are you if you’ve been a doormat your whole life. In Luke, he says blessed are you if you’re poor, if you’re persecuted, if you’re unwanted, if you’re uninvited. Jesus says to these people you are called, you are loved, you are light, you are salt.

PRAYER: Dear God, thank you for accepting me. Even through my weakness, illness, and sin, I am loved by you and the salt of the earth.

REFLECTION: If you were there in Jesus day, do you think you would be in or out?

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