“Rejoice and be glad, for your reward will be great in heaven.” (Mt 5:12a)
Today’s Passage: Mt 5:1-12a
Meditation: Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount is known as the magnacarta of Christianity. It gives us also the sum and substance of Christian religion. It spreads through 5th, 6th, and 7th chapters of the Gospel of Mathew. According to some exegetes Mathew presents Jesus as the new Moses throughout his gospel: Jesus gives the law on the mount in remembrance of Moses’ giving the law on the Mount Sinai; but at the same time he is superior to Moses, therefore, he is perfecting the laws given by Moses etc. As we celebrate the feast of all the saints, today’s passage has got a special significance. “Rejoice and be glad, for your reward will be great in heaven.” (Mt 5:12a) Saints are those who have found treasures in heaven. Their minds were not set on earthly things but only on heavenly things. If we know the background of this verse well, then we will enjoy this meditation. The Sermon on the Mount begins with the beatitudes; then in the rest of 5th chapter Jesus perfects the Mosaic laws; in the 6th chapter he speaks about the new spirit of Jesus’ disciples; and in the 7th chapter the character of disciples. Today’s verse is more connected with the 6th chapter where we find Jesus correcting the traditional Jewish good works; almsgiving, prayer, and fasting. All these were done in public so that others may see their good works; but Jesus corrected it by commanding that they should be in secret (almsgiving in secret 6:2-4; prayer in secret 6:5, 6; fasting in secret 6:16-18) Jesus insisted that it has to be done in secret for the glory of God the father, not for the glory of men. Saints are those who have done their ministries or services for the glory of God; they were primarily concerned about the reward in heaven not on earth. Jesus says, “Do not store up riches for yourselves here on earth, where moths and rust destroy, and robbers break in and steal. Instead, store up riches for yourselves in heaven, where moths and rust cannot destroy, and robbers cannot break in and steal. For your heart will always be where your riches are.” (Mt 6:19-21)
Prayer: Lord God, we thank you and praise you for your daily eternal bread. Lord Jesus, many a time we were after the earthly wealth and pleasures. Today we know that they are not eternal; they cannot give the real peace and joy in our life; and they make us often desperate and dejected. At times our deeds and words were like that of the Pharisees and the teachers of the law, not of your disciples. What we did were not in view of your glory, but for our name and fame before men. Give us your Spirit and lead us in the right path. Amen!
Greetings: Happy feast to all of you! God is with you! Have a nice and blissful Saturday…