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Gospel for Tuesday, November 1: Matthew 5: 1-12

All Saints’ Day

1Seeing the crowds, Jesus went up the mountain and, sitting down, his disciples approached him. 2Then taking the floor, he taught them, saying: 3“Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. 4Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted. 5Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth. 6Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for justice, for they will be satisfied. 7Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy. 8Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God. 9Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God. 10Blessed are those persecuted for the sake of justice, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. 11Blessed are you when they insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me. 12Rejoice and exult, for great is your reward in heaven. For thus they persecuted the prophets before you.”

Mt 5: 1-12

Dear Sisters and Brothers of the Misericordie, I am Carlo Miglietta, doctor, biblical scholar, layman, husband, father and grandfather (

Also today I share with you a short meditation thought on the Gospel, with special reference to the theme of mercy.

“The Beatitudes contain the “identity card” of the Christian, because they outline the face of Jesus himself, his lifestyle… But it is a message for all humanity.

Jesus reveals the way to happiness – his way – by repeating the word “blessed” eight times.

Each Beatitude is made up of three parts. First there is always the word “blessed”; then comes the situation in which the blessed find themselves: poverty of spirit, affliction, hunger and thirst for justice, and so on; finally there is the motif of beatitude, introduced by the conjunction “because”: “Blessed are these because, blessed are those because…”. This is how the eight Beatitudes are and it would be nice to learn them by heart to repeat them, to have this law that Jesus gave us in our mind and heart” (Pope Francis).

The cry: «’Ashrè» in Hebrew means above all an invitation to move forward, a promise that is certain and precedes those who experience a certain situation, a word that indicates a style to be adopted, a word that changes the perspective with which one looks at the life, reality, others. We translate this expression often present in the Psalms and in the wisdom of Israel with “blessed” (from the Greek makárioi, which the Gospels take from the LXX version), but unfortunately we do not have an Italian term that adequately reveals its content. “Blessed” is not an adjective, it is an invitation to happiness, to the fullness of life, to the awareness of a joy that nothing and no one can steal or extinguish (Jn 16.23). «Blessed» also has the value of «blessed» (Mt 25,34), in opposition to the «woes» (Mt 23,13-32; Luke 6,24-26), but indicates something that is not just an action of God who makes us righteous and saved on the day of judgment (Ps 1.1; 41.2), but who already gives meaning, a conscious and joyful hope to those who are the recipients of this word. Promise and program! Therefore, let no one think of bliss as a joy free from trials and suffering, as a worldly “feeling good”. No, it must be understood as the possibility of experiencing that what one is and lives has meaning, provides a “conviction”, gives a reason why it is worth living. And certainly this happiness is measured at the end of the journey, of the sequel, because it is present during the journey, but sometimes it can be contradicted by trials, suffering, passion” (E. Bianchi).

Pope Francis, in the Apostolic Exhortation “Gaudete et exsultate” on the call to holiness in the contemporary world, proposed a splendid exegesis of Matthew’s passage on the Beatitudes, an exegesis that we must know at least in brief: “Although the words of Jesus may seem poetic to us , however they go very against the tide of what is usual, what is done in society; and, even if this message of Jesus attracts us, in reality the world leads us towards another lifestyle…

“Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.”

The Gospel invites us to recognize the truth of our heart, to see where we place the security of our life… This poverty of spirit is very closely linked to that “holy indifference” that Saint Ignatius of Loyola proposed, in which we achieve a beautiful interior freedom : «Do not desire for us more health than sickness, more wealth than poverty, more honor than dishonor, more a long life than a short one, and so in everything else».

“Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth.”

It is a strong expression, in this world which from the beginning has been a place of enmity, where there are arguments everywhere, where there is hatred on all sides… However, although it seems impossible, Jesus proposes another style: meekness… He said: «Learn from me, for I am gentle and humble of heart, and you will find rest for your life» (Mt 11,29)…

“Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be consoled.”

The world offers us the opposite: fun, enjoyment, distraction, leisure, and tells us that this is what makes life good… The person who sees things as they really are, lets himself be pierced by pain and cries in heart, is capable of reaching the depths of life and being truly happy. That person is consoled, but with the consolation of Jesus and not with that of the world. So he can have the courage to share the suffering of others and stops running away from painful situations. In this way he discovers that life has meaning in helping another in his pain, in understanding the anguish of others, in giving relief to others… “Weep with those who mourn” (Rm 12,15). Knowing how to cry with others, this is holiness.

“Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for justice, for they will be satisfied.”

Of course the word “justice” can be synonymous with fidelity to the will of God with our whole life, but if we give it a very general meaning we forget that it manifests itself especially in justice with the defenseless: “Seek justice, help the oppressed, give justice to the orphan, defend the cause of the widow” (Is 1,17). Seeking justice with hunger and thirst, this is holiness.

“Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy”.

Mercy has two aspects: it is giving, helping, serving others and also forgiving, understanding… Giving and forgiving is trying to reproduce in our lives a small reflection of the perfection of God, who gives and forgives in a superabundant way.

“Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God.”

In the Bible, the heart is our true intentions, what we really seek and desire, beyond what we express (1 Sam 16.7)… When the heart loves God and our neighbor (Mt 22.36-40), when this is his true intention and not empty words, then that heart is pure and can see God.

“Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God.”

This beatitude makes us think of the numerous war situations that are repeated… It is not easy to build this evangelical peace which does not exclude anyone, but which also integrates those who are a little strange, the difficult and complicated people, those who ask for attention, those who are different, who are very affected by life, who have other interests… It’s about being artisans of peace, because building peace is an art that requires serenity, creativity, sensitivity and dexterity. Sowing peace around us, this is holiness.

“Blessed are those who are persecuted for justice’s sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.”

Jesus himself underlines that this path goes against the grain to the point of making us people who question society with their lives, people who annoy us. Jesus remembers how many people are persecuted and have been persecuted simply for having fought for justice, for having lived their commitments to God and to others. If we do not want to sink into an obscure mediocrity, we do not expect a comfortable life, because “whoever wants to save his life,

will lose” (Mt 16:25). Accepting the way of the Gospel every day even though it causes us problems, this is holiness” (nos. 65-94).

Happy Mercy to all!

Anyone who would like to read a more complete exegesis of the text, or some insights, please ask me at


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