Fourth Sunday in Ordinary Time
by Fr. Ivan Olmo
He began to teach them, saying: “Blessed are the poor in spirit.” Who are the poor in spirit? Are you poor in spirit? Are you among those Jesus calls blessed who will inherit the kingdom of heaven? In the Old Testament, the poor in spirit are those who simply lived in physical poverty and remained entrusted to God. Those who suffered the loss of material possessions and lived without the comfort of security and basic material needs but who remained confident that somehow God would provide what they truly needed and rejoiced in that knowledge. The poor in spirit were those who trusted in the providence of God and remained dependent on God for everything. Jesus was poor in spirit because he was simply poor. He was born poor. He entered into this world in such poverty that there was no room for his family in the inn or in any residence. With creation and with his creatures he laid sleeping. Jesus would live out this reality throughout his adult life and his pubic ministry for he himself said, “The Son of Man has nowhere to rest his head.” Jesus also modeled for us the spirituality of being poor by being poor in spirit through his helplessness and dependency on the Father for all things and in all situations. Jesus showed us and imitated for us blessed-ness and beloved-ness by simply submitting his will to the Father’s will, commending his spirit into the hands of the Father’s Spirit, and surrendering his life into the Father’s trust and divine love. The New Testament invites us all to be and become spiritually poor like Jesus. Those called blessed in the eyes of God. Those who inherit and become heirs to the kingdom of God by becoming meek and humble of heart like Jesus. By simply believing God always provides, he always does, he always has, he always will. In God only can we truly trust for only God in his own spiritual poverty can provide the love we truly need. Only God can love us so much with a love that truly enriches us in our poverty and enriches us when we seem to have everything this world can offer us. God makes himself poor, physically and spiritually so we can inherit and enter his kingdom and his presence. Jesus humbled himself to the point of death on a cross. Blessed in his eyes and rich in his grace and enriched in his presence are the poor in spirit for God will provide what they truly need.