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2 And he opened his mouth and taught them, saying:
3 “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
4 “Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.
5 “Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth.
6 “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied.
7 “Blessed are the merciful, for they shall receive mercy.
8 “Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.
9 “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons[a] of God.
10 “Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
These familiar words are the beginning of the Sermon on the Mount, which is the most extensive collection of Jesus’ teachings. Notice how many of the themes echo the Isaiah 61:1-2 passage that Jesus read in Nazareth. For instance, the “oppressed” or “broken-hearted” of Luke 4:18 are the same as the “poor in spirit” of Matthew 5:3. This refers to our spiritual poverty – our constant need for God to intervene in our lives. Because of our pride, we like to think we can handle most things on our own. But we are fooling ourselves! Recognizing our need for God is the first step toward spiritual riches, and experiencing the joyful fullness of God in our lives.