St. Ephrem of Syria

Mt 5: 1-12

When Jesus saw the crowds, he went up the mountain; and after he sat down, his disciples came to him. Then he began to speak, and taught them, saying:

“Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted. Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth. Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled. Blessed are the merciful, for they will receive mercy. Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God. Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God. Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are you when people revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account. Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.”

New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989, by the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. USCCB approved.

Following Jesus

Crowds often surrounded Jesus, but we learn in today’s gospel that he chose to make his way up the mountain where only the disciples would join him. We know word had reached Jesus that John the Baptist had been arrested – a signal that it was time to prepare his disciples for the ministry to which they had been called. They had witnessed Jesus as preacher in the Synagogue; they experienced his use of parables and the many miracles he performed.

Now, here on the mountain, Jesus would summarize all he had taught them over their limited time together. It was of major importance that they fully understand what is demanded of all who seek the Kingdom of heaven.  Indeed, the gift of the beatitudes would identify for them and for us the expectations of living as a true disciple.  So, how are we doing in our quest to be among the “Blessed”?

—Sr. Ann Romayne Fallon, O.P. is an Adrian Dominican sister with notable experience in high school and diocesan administration. Currently she provides pastoral ministry to the Dominican community in Adrian MI.


Lord, when hardships, disillusionments, broken relationships, sickness and death just don’t make sense, we will continue to seek your kingdom. Strengthen our faith so we can trust that all will be well.

—The Jesuit Prayer Team