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In the beatitudes of the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus declares, "Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven" (Matthew 5:3). What exactly does it mean to be poor in spirit, an...
And so Jesus says, "Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven" (Mt 5:3). This is neither a romanticizing of economic poverty nor a demonization of wealth, but rather a formula for detachment. Might I suggest a somewhat variant rendition: how blessed are you if you are not attached to material things, if you have placed the goods that wealth can buy at the center of your concern? When the Kingdom of God is your ultimate concern, not only will you not become addicted to material things; you will, in fact, be able to use them with great effectiveness for God's purposes. -Fr. Robert Barron
To be poor in spirit means to be in needy for the Word of God (John 6: 63) who will give a salvation on earth as it is in heaven. These needs will be able to be fulfilled only through Jesus Christ (John 14: 6) as He is saying : " If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for me will find it " (Matthew 16: 24-25) as He also has said : "Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven" (Matthew 5: 10).
I believe that the phrase "poor in spirit" is also an important spiritual reality in the process of sanctification. We need to recognize and understand that we cannot sustain or develop our spiritual life on our own. We are "poor in spirit" unless we are constantly connected to and completely dependent on Jesus Christ for this spiritual life. In John, chapter 15, Jesus compared our spiritual life to a tree. He said we are the branches that are to bear fruit. However, the branches are connected to the tree (ie the church) and the tree is connected to the root (ie Jesus Christ). The root provides the nutrients and support to make the tree grow strong and for the branches to bear fruit. As Christians we naturally want to do things that please God to show our gratitude for his salvation. However, our pride and independence often gets in the way. We start living the Christian life in our own strength and according to our own will. What happens is - we get burnt out - because we don't have the nourishment and energy to sustain this spiritual life on our own. This daily connection to Jesus Christ is absolutely vital to our sanctification, for us to grow up in our faith and become mature and complete, not lacking anything. As Jesus said in John 15;4-5 "Abide in me and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself unless it abides in the vine, so neither can you unless you abide in me. I am the vine, you are the branches; he who abides in me and I in him, he bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing." Through my personal journey of faith, I have discovered 5 ways to abide in Christ so he abides in me: 1. Study and meditate on the bible, the Word of God The bible says that Jesus is the Word of God (John 1:1-2) and that we are not to live by bread alone but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God (Matthew 4:4) 2. Have intimate conversations with God through prayer I talk to God all the time and he answers me (Jeremiah 33:3) and when I don’t know what to say the Holy Spirit helps me (Romans 8:26-27) 3. Give praise and thanksgiving to God I worship God by giving him praise for who he is – his nature and character (Psalm 146) – and thanksgiving for what he has done “in”, “for” and “through my life (Psalm 136) 4. Have intimate fellowship with other Christians I share my life with other believers (Acts 2:42-47) and experience the presence of God in our midst (Matthew 18:20) 5. Serve God’s purposes to advance his kingdom I complete the good works that God has given me to do (Ephesians 2:10) through the ministry of the local church (Romans 12:3-8)
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