Thought of the day
Sunday, January 29, 2017

Fourth Sunday in Ordinary Time

Blessed Guerric of Igny (c.1080-1157), Cistercian abbot Sermon for All Saints, 3.5-6 (trans. ©Cistercian publications, 1971, alt.)

Fourth Sunday in Ordinary Time

Commentary of the day 

Blessed Guerric of Igny (c.1080-1157), Cistercian abbot 
Sermon for All Saints, 3.5-6 (trans. ©Cistercian publications, 1971, alt.)

                   “Theirs is the kingdom of heaven”

“Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven” (Mt 5: 3). Clearly those who are truly blessed are they who throw off the cheap but heavy burdens of this world and renounce all desires for any wealth save the richness of the Creator of the world alone. For his sake they are like those who, having nothing, yet possess all things in him (2Cor 6:10). Do they not truly possess all things if they have God for their portion and inheritance (Ps 141[142]:6) and possess him who contains all things and disposes of them all? This is the God who, lest there be anything lacking to those who fear him (Ps 33[34]:10), gives to them for their use all things outside himself in the measure that he knows is good for them, and keeps his own self for their ultimate enjoyment… Let us therefore rejoice, brethren, that we are poor for Christ, but let us also take care that we are humble for Christ. No one is more worthy of our scorn than a poor man who is proud… 

“The kingdom of God is not a matter of food and drink, but of righteousness, peace, and joy in the Holy Spirit” (Rm 14:17). If we feel we have all this within us, why do we not proclaim confidently that the kingdom of God is within us? (Lk 17:21). Now what is within us truly belongs to us, for nobody can take it away from us against our will. This is why, when he proclaims the happiness of the poor, the Lord is right to say: “The kingdom of God is theirs” and not that it “will be theirs.” It is theirs by an unimpeachable right. But it is also theirs because of a most certain pledge and their happy enjoyment of it. It is theirs not only because the kingdom was prepared for them from the foundation of the world (Mt 25:34), but also because they have already begun to enter into some sort of possession of it. They already have heavenly treasure in earthen vessels (2 Co 4:7); they already bear God in body and heart.