Luke 6:17-23 NRSVue

17He came down with them and stood on a level place with a great crowd of his disciples and a great multitude of people from all Judea, Jerusalem, and the coast of Tyre and Sidon. 18They had come to hear him and to be healed of their diseases, and those who were troubled with unclean spirits were cured. 19And everyone in the crowd was trying to touch him, for power came out from him and healed all of them.

20Then he looked up at his disciples and said:

“Blessed are you who are poor, for yours is the kingdom of God.

21“Blessed are you who are hungry now, for you will be filled. “Blessed are you who weep now, for you will laugh.

22“Blessed are you when people hate you and when they exclude you, revile you, and defame you on account of the Son of Man. 23Rejoice on that day and leap for joy, for surely your reward is great in heaven, for that is how their ancestors treated the prophets.

Some thoughts on this scripture

Note the present tense used in the first of these beatitudes: the poor are blessed in the here and now – not, Luke says, because they are poor, but because theirs ‘is the Kingdom of God ‘. Every good relationship is poor because the other person is not our property. One is a gift from the other, and each is a gift from God.

Jesus’ kingdom is for this world as well as for the next. If we loved each other as ourselves, there would be no poverty, no hunger. The poor would be fed, the destitute cherished, the mourners comforted. How can I help make Jesus’ kingdom a reality for someone else today?