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Blessings and Woes

20 Then he looked up at his disciples and said:

“Blessed are you who are poor,

for yours is the kingdom of God.

21

“Blessed are you who are hungry now,

for you will be filled.

“Blessed are you who weep now,

for you will laugh.

22 “Blessed are you when people hate you, and when they exclude you, revile you, and defame you on account of the Son of Man. 23Rejoice in that day and leap for joy, for surely your reward is great in heaven; for that is what their ancestors did to the prophets.


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20, 21. In the Sermon on the Mount the benediction is pronounced upon the "poor in spirit" and those who "hunger and thirst after righteousness" (Mt 5:3, 6). Here it is simply on the "poor" and the "hungry now." In this form of the discourse, then, our Lord seems to have had in view "the poor of this world, rich in faith, and heirs of the kingdom which God hath promised to them that love Him," as these very beatitudes are paraphrased by James (Jas 2:5).

21. laugh—How charming is the liveliness of this word, to express what in Matthew is called being "comforted!"

22. separate you—whether from their Church, by excommunication, or from their society; both hard to flesh and blood.

for the Son of man's sake—Compare Mt 5:11, "for My sake"; and immediately before, "for righteousness' sake" (Lu 6:10). Christ thus binds up the cause of righteousness in the world with the reception of Himself.

23. leap for joy—a livelier word than "be exceeding glad" of "exult" (Mt 5:12).




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