Summary: In the beattitudes, Jesus introduces the kind of life those who seek the Kingdom of God should lead.
“The Righteousness of the Kingdom of Heaven”
Fr. Christopher M. Nerreau
Introduction: (READ PASSAGE)
• In our gospel reading today we arrive at Jesus Sermon on the Mount. In this sermon Christ goes after the heart of man, taking us ever deeper into the spiritual meaning of kingdom citizenship.
• I find this passage nicely ties together both today’s feast (All Saints) and today’s baptism.
• The Feast: All Saints, remembering the wonderful example of men and woman known and unknown, who’s devotion to Christ emulates His teachings.
• Baptism: Today we celebrate the baptism and Chrismation of Adrienne Lois Phillips. Baptism is where the pursuit of the Kingdom of Heaven begins.
• In these two images we see both the potential of the Christian life and its origin.
Proposition: Jesus introduces the kind of life those who seek the Kingdom of God should lead.
Interrogative sentence: Today do you seek to live a life that pursues the Kingdom of God?
Sermon Preview: Jesus shows us what this life is by revealing three qualities that can be found in the life of those pursuing the Kingdom of God:
1. The Quality Of Penitence
2. The Quality Of Purity
3. The Quality Of Perseverance
Transitional Sentence: Let us begin firstly by looking at…
I. THE QUALITY OF PENITENCE (v. 3-4)
Explanation: Jesus begins by showing us that pursuing the kingdom of God is a blessing.
• The word “blessed” (Gk. ìáêÜñéïò ) expresses spiritual exaltation and not earthly happiness.
• Firstly, we see that the blessings of heaven begin with a Penitent heart.
THE BIBLE SAYS – Mt 5:3-4 “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. “Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.”
A. Poor In Spirit – Theirs is the Kingdom of Heaven.
o To be poor in Spirit is to understand one’s spiritual condition. The poor in Spirit are those who recognize their spiritual bankruptcy and have a penitent / broken heart before God.
o Poverty of Spirit teaches us that our lives are wholly dependent upon the sustenance of God’s mercy.
o Jesus teaches that the kingdom of heaven belongs to those who know who they are and understand their dependence upon God’s mercy.
B. Those Who Mourn – Shall be comforted.
• Understanding one’s own poverty, and the brokenness of the world around them, mourn this condition.
o THE BIBLE SAYS – “a broken and contrite heart, O God, you will not despise”
• Seeking of the Kingdom of Heaven begins with a penitent heart. We not only have poverty of Spirit but also a mourning of the spiritual condition of this world and ourselves as we live in it.
• A Penitent heart has eyes to see: 1. Sorrow over the sufferings of this life (Mt 9:23) 2. The suffering of others (Jn 11: 35). The state of this world (Lk 19:41) 4. And our own sinfulness. (Lk 7:36-38)
II. THE QUALITY OF PURITY (v. 5-9)
Explanation: The life pursuing the Kingdom of Heaven moves from Penitence to Purity.
THE BIBLE SAYS – “Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth. Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled. Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy. Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God. Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called sons of God.
The Meek – inherit the Earth
• Meekness learning to be content with both honor and dishonor.
• Meek have mastery over their passions, especially anger.
• Meekness is not passive weakness, but strength under control.
• The Earth that will be inherited is the New Earth – (Rev. 21:1)
Hunger and Thirst Righteousness – Will be filled
• See the presence of God and His Kingdom as the most important thing in life.
• A Love and craving for what is good, holy and Right.
• These will be filled as the hungry person is filled with a good meal. They that seek this righteousness will one day experience it in its fullness.
The Merciful – Will Be Shown Mercy
• (Taking on the sufferings of others as our own) Mercy is love set in motion, expressed in action.
• God’s mercy takes on our suffering and so we take on the sufferings of others.
• “Forgive us our trespasses as we forgive” – If we are not merciful toward others how can we expect the mercy of God for ourselves?
Pure In Heart – Will See God
• Pure means unmixed with anything else. Complete devotion to worship and service of God. This happens with the aid of the Holy Spirit.
• Avoiding evil, loving goodness, not compromising.
• When the souls only desire is God and a person’s will holds to this desire, then that person will indeed SEE GOD EVERYWHERE.