Poor in Spirit

Scripture Reading — Matthew 5:3

“Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of ­heaven.” — Matthew 5:3

How would you define success?

For most of us, success is about our accomplishments or status in the eyes of others. We tend to feel “successful” when we earn a promotion, raise well-adjusted kids, or receive good grades. More often than not, we define success by how much we have gained or ­accomplished.

But here in the first beatitude, Jesus turns our definition of success upside down. He says, “Blessed are the poor in spirit,” using an image of poverty and feeling worn down to describe what it means to be right with God.

Jesus wants us to understand that no matter what our job title is, or how much money we have in the bank, we are spiritually destitute. We are sinners, each and every one of us, alienated from our Creator and unable to live faithfully for him. Only when we face the truth of our spiritual condition are we rightly called blessed. And only by letting go of what we can do in our own strength can we receive what God has done for us.

Jesus wants us to understand that a disciple is not someone who must have all the answers or achieve great things. A disciple is honest about being sinful, comes to God empty handed, and trusts that our gracious Father will provide everything needed for real, full life.

Prayer

Father, help me to understand my poverty of spirit, and to see my need for a relationship with you. Thank you for having mercy on me, and help me to trust in you for all my needs. Amen.