“Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.”
Humility is a Christian virtue, as it is in most religions. Jesus’ reference to the “poor in spirit” evokes an attitude of humble service, a setting aside of ego and aspiration for personal affirmation or advantage in favor of an acknowledgment of our need before God. None of us has a monopoly on rectitude or righteousness. We are all sinners.
Humility is in short supply in Washington as the nation’s crisis drags on. The “poor in spirit” are absent, at least in the public posturings we see. It is all about political advantage, about pride, about saving face, about who can one-up the other. How would that change if we really took the words of Jesus seriously?
“Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth.”
Nobody really believes that, do they? Certainly no one in politics.
Meekness gets you run over, right? Meekness is for political losers. Fight back. Stand your ground. Assert yourself. Be a winner.
Where has that gotten us?
Maybe a politician who didn’t act like he or she had all the answers could persuade others to consider the possibility of some validity to an opposing point of view. Maybe a bit of meekness is exactly what’s needed in Washington. Maybe we should listen to Jesus.
“Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God.”
The political factions are certainly at war in Washington. The White House and Congress. Democrats and Republicans. Republicans and Republicans.
It’s not a shooting war, but a war of words and a war of wills. Peacemakers are desperately needed in those kinds of wars, too.
Where are the children of God who will step forward to make peace in our nation’s capital? Where are the politicians who will take Jesus’ words to heart?
These words of Jesus aren’t some kind of sentimental nonsense detached from real life or reserved for some isolated sphere of personal piety. They aren’t meant for someone else. They’re meant for us. They teach us how we should live our lives, every day and in all circumstances.
Do we listen to Jesus or not?