Lord Jesus' Sermon on the Mount

Lord Jesus' Sermon on the Mount

By Patriarch Emeritus Michel Sabbah

Following is the weekly reflection of Patriarch Emeritus Michel Sabbah for Sunday March 26-April 1, 2017:

Sunday 26.3.2017

What kind of Christians is needed these days? Christians who know who they believe in and who know Jesus Christ are needed.

Jesus came to teach us new things. In reality they are not new, they are inscribed in the human conscience, since the creation. Since creation, God put some of his goodness in the human being but humans forgot. Humans’ egoism prevailed. God created us to know Him, to be like Him, able to rise as high as God in our feelings and love. But we forgot and we became unable to be what God made us. We forgot love and replaced God with His creatures. We limited our love to the friend and the relative, neglected the stranger and hated the enemy. Instead of remaining all humans full of God, some made themselves enemies and forgot the image of God in them and in others.
Laws were, therefore, set to limit the evil of human beings and to remind us what God put in our human conscience. Jesus came to accomplish the laws, to bring us back to the origins: "You have heard how it was said to our ancestors…but I say to you…" (Mt 5: 21).

Today, the question put forth to the Christians striving to know themselves, striving to reach internal and external stability in the troubled days in which we live is: do you want to hear what Jesus said to all humankind, to you, and to all of us?

Monday 27.3.2017

What kind of Christians is needed these days? Christians who know who they believe in and who know Jesus Christ are needed.

Jesus came to teach us. In the Sermon on the Mount he said: "Blessed are the poor in spirit, the Kingdom of Heaven is theirs" (Mt 5: 3). No one wants to be poor, nevertheless poverty is the fate of so many in the world. We, too, could be poor.

Jesus said "the poor in spirit", those who feel in their spirit that they need someone. He meant those who feel that they first need God, His goodness and His love. This is the authentic and great need in the human being, the need for God. Blessed, happy are those who know that they are poor and feel in the depth of their existence a void which can only be filled with God. They know that their perfection is in God alone.

This poor in spirit do not find their wealth on Earth or in the fortunes of this Earth but in the Creator and all that God has instilled in them of spiritual possibilities. Happiness is in the inner self, in repentance and in returning to God. The treasure of life is in the humanity of our inner life granted by God, Creator. "In Him we live, we move and we exist" (Acts 17: 28).

Tuesday 28.3.2017

What kind of Christians is needed these days? Christians who know who they believe in and who know Jesus Christ are needed.

To know oneself is to know God. To seek life is to seek God. To seek richness is to seek the dignity of God in oneself. You are on Earth amidst sufferings and tragedies. Your soul is bleeding; blood is all around you and evil prevails in your soul and around you. Around you, there is death, military occupation and human despots who took the place of God.

Yet in yourself, you bear existence from God superior to all material riches, to all human despotism and human wars. Through the goodness and love which God put in you, you are able to see. Your vision becomes clearer and you know better how to deal with despotism, occupation, prisons and tyranny. Full of the goodness and the love of God, you are bigger and stronger than this world. You live and give life. They kill and die.
Blessed are the poor in spirit who know and see that they are poor, that they need God. They bear the treasure of true life and richness in themselves and in the love of all brothers and sisters. With this love they live, and give life to all, to the “little” like themselves who are aware of their need for God; they also give life to the strong who ignore themselves and bear death to themselves and others, - if they truly want life.

Wednesday 29.3.2017

What kind of Christians is needed these days? Christians who know who they believe in and who know Jesus Christ are needed.

The poor in spirit know that they are poor, that they need God, their Creator who is their only source of existence and life. They also know they need all brothers and sisters in humanity. They know that their richness and their perfection are in every brother and sister.

The poor in spirit know that they were not created to live alone on Earth, neither to live for themselves alone nor to take the place of others or the place of God. They know that everybody on Earth is part of themselves and is a completion of their own life. There is a communion in humanity, a communion of many in the one life of God: in God all men and women live. Love unites all, perfects all, raises all to the level of the spirit and God's love. Anyone who needs God needs all brothers and sisters. They also reciprocate this need. Each one is the perfection of each other.

This is the normal relation between human beings. Each one sees God in each other and in this vision finds treasure and happiness. The heart of man cannot be filled with what is available on Earth only but with God and the joy of God. With love, we become the Lords of Earth and the successors of God on it.

The poor in spirit are all those who can give true life to Earth and take away from it all kinds of death, hunger, humiliation, forced emigration, blood and killing.

Thursday 30.3.2017

What kind of Christians is needed these days? Christians who know who they believe in and who know Jesus Christ are needed.

The poor in spirit are the companions of all human beings wherever they are and in whatever quality they are, friends or enemies. The poor in spirit are pushed by their poverty towards God, His goodness, and thus they can triumph over all evil in themselves and in every brother and sister. They can plant in others goodness and love.

The poor in spirit are the true wealth of this Earth for they enrich it with heaven. They are the wealthy of God. They are those who possess humanity while the strong with their evils are the lords of death not life; they are not even human beings because they kill; they themselves become among the dead and the Earth rejects them. They kill themselves when they kill their brothers.

The Earth needs the poor who are full of life. Our land, our region, victim of occupation, oppression of human beings against other human beings, needs the poor in spirit to liberate it from death, occupation, and to bring back true life to the innocent and even the oppressors.

Friday 31.3.217

What kind of Christians is needed these days? Christians who know who they believe in and who know Jesus Christ are needed.

The poor in spirit are those who need God. They find the perfection of life in Him. They also need all brothers and sisters, in whom they find their perfection. The poor in spirit need God and people, and the land needs them in order to get liberated from the evil of human beings imposed upon it and upon other humans.

The poor in spirit are free people and free others, those who made themselves slaves to money or to the appetite of blood and became killers of their brothers and sisters because they do not see their perfection in God nor in their brothers and sisters.

The poor in spirit are the free people needed by the Earth today to put an end to the occupation, to walls and barriers, and to general killings in the region, in order to replace the reality of death with free liberated new human beings, full of love and humanity.

In the beginning it was not so. Man was neither a killer nor a maker of war or a decision maker for death. In the beginning, man was in the image of God and is still so. The image of God is not a void expression; it is a source of great energy in all human beings.

Saturday 1.4.2017

What kind of Christians is needed these days? Christians who know who they believe in and who know Jesus Christ are needed.

Blessed are the poor in spirit. They are the wealth of the Earth. They know that their perfection and fullness of life is in God, and the Earth is their way towards God, Creator, through all their efforts to build it.

The Earth should not be a place of war for any reason. Today, it is a place of war, blood and death; moreover God has been removed from it. God’s truth has been replaced with tyrants with weapons, killers of themselves because they decided to kill their brothers.

Our land, our region, needs to be rebuilt; it needs the poor in spirit; it needs people who see God. They see the truth of humanity; they believe that the land is for all God's creatures.

We need the poor in spirit. We need that the rich and the strong of this world become poor in spirit so they will know life, respect it, and live. Then all the land and its inhabitants will also have abundant life.

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