The following column appeared in the June 30, 2019 bulletin of Blessed Virgin Mary Parish in Darby, at which Msgr. Joseph Corley was pastor until his death on June 29 after a short illness.
CatholicPhilly.com offers this final reflection by Msgr. Corley, which he wrote for this year’s celebration of the July 4 holiday.
The Gospel of Matthew includes the internationally known and respected “Sermon on the Mount” (Mt 5:1-12). Let’s focus our attention on the first beatitude: “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of God.”
First, keep in mind the word “blessed” can be interpreted as “happy.”
Second, when Jesus refers to the “poor in spirit,” he is talking about anyone, rich or poor, who is aware of his or her dependence upon God.
Third, the statement “theirs is the kingdom of God” means those who acknowledge their dependence upon God, and do God’s will, have already allowed God to rule their hearts. They give glory to God, who is in them.
How does the beatitude apply to us?
Matthew wrote the Beatitudes to inspire disciples like us. The evangelist wanted to turn readers’ attention to the most fundamental virtue of discipleship — humility, which is another word for being poor in spirit. The Sermon on the Mount assures the humble of God’s presence and favor in their struggles.
We live in a culture that admires independence and individualism. The Gospels, however, praise spiritual dependence and community life. The Beatitudes are a modern-day Christian’s “Declaration of Dependence” upon God.
Pray for the virtue of humility, and be happy knowing that, like Jesus, you are poor in spirit.
Happy Fourth of July weekend! God bless you, and God bless America.
Join the CatholicPhilly.com family
CatholicPhilly.com works to strengthen the connections between people, families and communities every day by delivering the news people need to know about the Catholic Church, especially in the Philadelphia region, and the world in which we live.
By your donation in any amount, you and hundreds of other people become part of our mission to inform, form in the Catholic faith and inspire the thousands of readers who visit every month.
Here is how you can help:
- A $100 gift allows us to present award-winning photos of Catholic life in our neighborhoods.
- A $50 gift enables us to cover a news event in a local parish, school or Catholic institution.
- A $20 gift lets us obtain solid faith formation resources that can deepen your spirituality and knowledge of the faith.
- A small, automated monthly donation means you can support us continually and easily.
Won't you consider making a gift today?
Please join in the church's vital mission of communications by offering a gift in whatever amount that you can ― a single gift of $40, $50, $100, or more, or a monthly donation. Your gift will strengthen the fabric of our entire Catholic community and sustain CatholicPhilly.com as your trusted news source. Thank you in advance!
Make your donation by credit card here:
Or make your donation by check:
222 N. 17th Street
Philadelphia, PA 19103