Blessed are the poor in spirit…


The 9 beatitudes  are an introduction to the sermon on the mount.  The sermon then goes into greater detail of living out the beatitudes in everyday life.

Blessed are the poor in spirit,for theirs is the kingdom of God.  Matt. 5:3

The definition of blessed is, according to the American Heritage Dictionary, enjoying the eternal happiness of heaven. Jesus pronounces this blessing first and foremost,to those who are poor in spirit.

Most people in Jesus’ day were poor, they knew what it was like to have nothing. Jesus himself knew this, but he went a little deeper in his teaching than just saying “those without money or possessions,” he said “poor in spirit.”

Most of us are certainly not poor. We may be broke, but we’re not like Jews in first century Palestine. We have food in our fridge, two things they didn’t have at all. But we have plenty of things, and if we are not careful, “things” can distract, impede or sever our reliance upon God.

I believe this is the key point  to this beatitude, and if we miss it, we will lose the rest of the entire sermon .

Our dependence is to be placed entirely on God, physically and spiritually !

If we don’t, can’t or won’t do this, we’ll simply go about living our lives the way we want  and not the way God intends . Missing the blessing that he wants to give to His children, who love and obey Him.

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5 Responses

  1. I am truly grateful for this piece of wisdom. Too many people don’t even think that another person is their brother, when in fact, we are all brothers and sisters in Jesus. We are all a part of the same family, whether we realize it or not.

  2. I just wanted to add that Jesus gave his disiples, the two commandments that are the Greatest Commandments.

    The first command was to Love God with their whole minds, their whole hearts, and their whole souls.

    The second is like the first, You must Love thy neighbor as yourselves.

    “What good is it if you just love your family, and your friends?” It is easy to love those with whom you have good relations with, but he went on to say that you have to love everyone, no matter what they do to you, or how they hurt you, if you want to enter into the Kingdom of God!

  3. Everything you said here is true, but we must be aware that the Church’s traditional interpretation (but not dogmatic) of this beatitutde is that Christ is calling us to the virtue of detachment. To define by way of negation, it means that we are not attached to any material good. To define by way of affirmation, it is, as. St. Ignatius of Loyola tells us, the active desire to be physically poor. Pretty tough, eh?

  4. My focus is on (poor in spirit), because some do not complete the verse, they just say blessed are the poor. So I am trying to get a clarification on poor in spirit. I have concluded that this is not just poor financially but more than this.

  5. Arnold,
    Thanks for your visit and comment.

    By the incomplete verse, I assume you are refering to St. Luke’s record of the sermon on the plain, in his gospel, chapter six verse twenty:

    “Blessed are you who are poor, for yours is the kingdom of God.”

    The poor in spirit verse quoted here, is From St. Matthew’s gospel, the sermon on the mount, found in chapter 5 verse three.

    They essentially say the same thing. That we must see ourselves for who we really are before God, and that is as destitute before Him so we can acknowledge Him as all that we need.

    This is a spiritual interpretation, that should also be applied as corporeal as well.

    That was the point I was trying to make, I’m sorry if it was confusing, the way I had originally stated it.

    Blessings to you in Christ.

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