How strange that Christ should declare fortunate,
persons who find themselves in vile conditions of life:
poverty, starvation, persecution.
seems to be saying
that these misfortunes
can be opportunities
that there is a way
of viewing these conditions
a way of responding
that can disarm them.
Seeing the crowds, he
went up the hill.
There he sat down and was joined by his disciples.
Then he began to speak. This is what he taught them:
"How happy are the poor in spirit; theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
Happy the gentle; they shall have the earth for their heritage.
Happy those who mourn; they shall be comforted.
Happy those who hunger and thirst for what is right; they shall be
Happy the merciful; they shall have mercy shown them.
Happy the pure in heart; they shall see God.
Happy are the peacemakers; they shall be called the sons of God.
Happy those who are persecuted in the cause of right;
theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
Happy are you when people abuse you and persecute you
and speak all kinds of calumny against you on my account.
Rejoice and be glad, for your reward will be great in heaven;
this is how they persecuted the prophts before you."