For Reading and Meditation: Mark 10:13-31
Today we ask ourselves: If happiness is not something we can create but something we receive, how do we go about receiving it? Listen again to the words of Jesus: "Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven." What does it mean to be "poor in spirit"? There are those who tell us that the words should read, "Blessed in spirit are the poor" - an idea derived from Luke 6:20, which reads: "Blessed are you who are poor, for yours is the kingdom of God." Our Lord, however, is not thinking here of material poverty, but spiritual poverty: "Blessed are the poor in spirit." The word for "poor" in the Greek is ptochos and refers to a chosen poverty. It implies a voluntary emptying of the inner being and is used of those who by choice are so poor that they become poor enough to receive. One translation puts it: "Blessed are those who are receptive in spirit" - those who are willing to empty their hands of their own possessions and have them filled with the riches of God. Jesus' first prescription for happiness, then, is a voluntary act of self-renunciation. This reverses the usual prescriptions for happiness, which begin with words such as "assert", "take", "release" or "affirm". The first step, therefore toward mental and spiritual health is self-renunciation. It is the decision we must take to reach out and receive Christ - with empty hands. Note that - with empty hands. The reason why so many fail to find Christ is because they are so unreceptive. Christ cannot give Himself to them because they do not give themselves to Him.
O Father, help me to fling everything else away so that I might find You. I will take this first prescription: I will be humble enough to acknowledge my need and receive. In Jesus' Name I pray. Amen.
Bible Verses: Mark 10:13-31Luke 6:20Mark 9:30-37Matthew 10:40Luke 8:40John 1:12
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