Blessed Are Those Who Mourn; Blessed Are The Meek
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Leo the Great, a native of Tuscany, was elected bishop of Rome in 440 and is perhaps best known for meeting with Attila the Hun in 452 and persuading him to turn back from his invasion of Italy. The nearly 100 sermons and 150 letters of his that have survived are mostly concerned with theological questions concerning the person of Jesus Christ and his role as Mediator and Saviour. Leo taught extensively on Christ's presence in the Church: in the teaching of Scripture, in the preaching of the faith, in the liturgy and in the life of the individual believer.
After preaching the blessings of poverty, the Lord went on to say: Blessed are they who mourn, for they shall be comforted. But the mourning for which he promises eternal consolation, dearly beloved, has nothing to do with the ordinary worldly distress; for the tears which have their origin in the sorrow common to all mankind do not make anyone blessed. There is another cause for the saints, another reason for their blessed tears. Religious grief mourns for sin, one's own or another's; it does not lament because of what happens as a result of God's justice, but because of what is done by human malice. Indeed, he who does wrong is more to be lamented than he who suffers it, for his wickedness plunges the sinner into punishment, whereas endurance can raise the just man to glory.
Next the Lord says: Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth. To the meek and gentle, the lowly and the humble, and to all who are ready to endure any injury, he promises that they will possess the earth. Nor is this inheritance to be considered small or insignificant, as though it were distinct from our heavenly dwelling; for we know that it is the kingdom of heaven which is also the inheritance promised to the meek and which will be given to the gentle for their own possession is none other than the bodies of the saints. Through the merit of their humility their bodies will be transformed by a joyous resurrection and clothed in the glory of immortality. No longer opposed in any way to their spirits, their bodies will remain in perfect harmony and unity with the will of the soul. Then, indeed, the outer man will be the peaceful and unblemished possession of the inner man.
Then, truly will the meek inherit the earth in perpetual peace, and nothing will be taken from their rights; for this perishable nature shall put on the imperishable and this mortal nature shall put on immortality. Their risk will turn into reward; what was a burden will have become an honor.
Leo the Great
Father of all,
who gave your only-begotten Son
to take upon himself the form of a servant
and to be obedient even to death on a cross:
Give us the same mind that was in Christ Jesus
that, sharing in his humility,
we may fully enter into our inheritance
and come to be with him in his glory;
through the same Jesus Christ our Lord.
Pray with us today's prayer request:
In Myanmar the political situation, the health situation, the economic situation, are all desperate. 'If you do not stand firm in your faith, you will not stand at all.’ (Isaiah 7:9). 'Heavenly Lord, build the faith of your people in Myanmar and strengthen the ministers of the gospel. Please bring peace and stability to the nation. In Jesus' name. Amen'.
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