When he saw the crowds, he went up the mountain, and after he had sat down, his disciples came to him. He began to teach them, saying: "Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
Blessed are they who mourn, for they will be comforted.
Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the land. Blessed are they who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be satisfied. Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy. Blessed are the clean of heart, for they will see God. Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God. Blessed are they who are persecuted for the sake of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are you when they insult you and persecute you and utter every kind of evil against you falsely because of me. Rejoice and be glad, for your reward will be great in heaven. Thus they persecuted the prophets who were before you."
The Church is holy, not because all her members are supposedly holy, but rather because God is holy and is at work in her. All the members of the Church are sanctified by Baptism. (823-829)
Whenever we allow ourselves to be touched by the Triune God, we grow in love and become holy and whole. The saints are lovers—not because they are able to love so well, but because God has touched them. They pass on the love they have received from God to other people in their own, often original way. Once God takes them home, they also sanctify the Church, because they "spend their heaven" supporting us on our path to holiness.
Do an exercise together: Write down all the words from the word field "gentleness." How many can you find? What are they? Exchange ideas about what they have to do with God.
On a sabbath he went to dine at the home of one of the leading Pharisees, and the people there were observing him carefully. He told a parable to those who had been invited, noticing how they were choosing the places of honor at the table. "When you are invited by someone to a wedding banquet, do not recline at table in the place of honor. A more distinguished guest than you may have been invited by him, and the host who invited both of you may approach you and say, 'Give your place to this man,' and then you would proceed with embarrassment to take the lowest place.
Rather, when you are invited, go and take the lowest place so that when the host comes to you he may say, 'My friend, move up to a higher position.'
Then you will enjoy the esteem of your companions at the table. For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, but the one who humbles himself will be exalted."
A Christian family should be a miniature church. All Christian family members are invited to strengthen one another in faith and to outdo one another in their zeal for God. They should pray for and with each other and collaborate in works of charity. (2226–2227)
Parents stand in for their children with their own faith, have them baptized, and serve as their models of faith. That means that parents should make it possible for their children to experience how valuable and beneficial it is to live in the familiar presence of the loving God. At some time, however, the parents, too, will learn from their children's faith and hear how God speaks through them, because the faith of young people is often accompanied by greater devotion and generosity and "because the Lord often reveals to a younger person what is better" (St. Benedict of Nursia, Rule, chap. 3, 3).
Once he has climbed all these steps of humility, the monk will arrive at the love of God, which being perfect casts out fear. Thanks to this love, every rule that he previously kept out of fear, he will now begin to keep without any effort, naturally, by force of habit.
On a sabbath he went to dine at the home of one of the leading Pharisees, and the people there were observing him carefully. In front of him there was a man suffering from dropsy. Jesus spoke to the scholars of the law and Pharisees in reply, asking,
"Is it lawful to cure on the sabbath or not?" But they kept silent; so he took the man and, after he had healed him, dismissed him.
Then he said to them, "Who among you, if your son or ox falls into a cistern, would not immediately pull him out on the sabbath day?" But they were unable to answer his question.
The commandment about rest on the Sabbath or on Sunday is the summit, the high point of biblical teaching about work. By interrupting work and at tending Holy Mass on Sunday, man's sights are directed toward the real goal of his life. The commandment to rest on the Sabbath is thus also a bulwark against the (voluntary or compulsory) enslavement of human beings by work. The commandment to keep the Sabbath was established for both purposes: to free man for divine worship, but also to protect mankind, especially the poor, from exploitation by their masters.
Don't think that God wants to forbid us all to love the world? No, we should love it because everything he gave us is worthy of love.
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