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Monday, June 8, 1998

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1 Kings 17:1-6
Psalm 121
Matthew 5:1-12

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god's kingdom now

"How blest are the poor in spirit: the reign of God is theirs." —Matthew 5:3

Jesus commands us to seek first His kingdom and everything else will be given to us (Mt 6:33). The kingdom of God can be ours right now, if we decide in our spirits to accept God's grace to be materially poor in some way (Mt 5:3) or if we are persecuted for righteousness' sake (Mt 5:10). If we witness for Jesus and desire to live a godly life, we will be persecuted (2 Tm 3:12), but not necessarily right away. Therefore, the only way to be positive of having God's kingdom right now is to choose material poverty. St. Francis of Assisi came to this conclusion and therefore rejoiced in loving "Lady Poverty."

Although only a few Christians are called to live Gospel poverty by selling all they have and giving to the poor (Mk 10:21), all Christians are called to live Gospel poverty in some way. We all are called to downsize our lives, to live soberly (1 Pt 1:13) and simply, to make sacrifices and do without, to forego legitimate pleasures, and to crucify the "flesh with its passions and desires" (Gal 5:24).

Live and love Gospel poverty; "the kingdom of God is yours" now (Mt 5:3, our transl).

Prayer:  Father, use my every thought, word, and action to build Your kingdom.

Promise:  "Ravens brought him bread and meat in the morning, and bread and meat in the evening, and he drank from the stream." —1 Kgs 17:6

Praise:  Maria had a painful sore throat. During daily Mass, she prayed that when she received the Eucharist, her throat would be healed. Jesus removed the pain instantly as she received Him in Communion.

Reference:  (For related teaching, order our leaflet, Seek First the Kingdom.)

Nihil Obstat:  Reverend Robert L. Hagedorn, November 29, 1997

Imprimatur:  †Most Reverend Carl K. Moeddel, Vicar General and Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, December 2, 1997