Kyrie, eleison!   Leave a comment

“The Sermon on the Mount contains the teaching of Jesus on the life of a disciple. That sermon begins with an astonishing summary of His teaching: ‘Blessed’ are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. (Mt.5:3). Here Jesus congratulates those who are spiritually impoverished and commends spiritual poverty as the mark of discipleship. The Greek word for ‘poor’ is also the term for a beggar. Those who are poor in spirit have no spiritual assets or credentials.  They have nothing to offer o God the Father; they receive everything from Him. The poor in spirit are not spiritually rich and powerful; they receive the Holy Spirit as beggars who ask for what they do not have. The Father’s kingdom is theirs as a gift, something that is always received and yet never possessed. Unless they receive God’s kingdom, they can never enter it and reign in it as kings together with Christ. 

This countercultural beatitude sums up the whole of Christian spirituality. It contradicts popular religion and common piety. Popular piety presupposes our unrealized spiritual potential; it seeks spiritual enrichment and empowerment through the practice of appropriate spiritual exercises. In contrast to this desire for spiritual self-improvement and self-development, Jesus teaches that we begin, continue, and end our spiritual journey with Him as beggars before God the Father, the heavenly King. We do not, as we follow Jesus, become increasingly self-sufficient. Rather, we learn, but by bit, the art of begging from God the Father, until at our death we can do nothing but say, ‘Lord Jesus, have mercy on me!’ ” 

Grace Upon Grace by John Kleinig

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Posted July 16, 2014 by FiveSolas in Uncategorized

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