FOR THEIRS IS THE KINGDOM OF HEAVEN
The Poor in Spirit have in their possession, right this very minute, the Kingdom of Heaven. It’s present tense – done deal.
What I get from the Mark passage is again the call to Humility. One cannot hold on to their own life, their own ways, their own choices and at the same time think they are “coming after” Jesus. That’s like trying to run in two opposite directions! One must lead, one must follow. Following is both challenging and rewarding work but work none the less. The job includes self-denial and heavy lifting. How then are we even able to follow? Only by reminding ourselves that our personal directions are faulty and in truth, even on a good day, we do not know where we are going.
Matthew 18 speaks to how one enters the Kingdom. Again the gateway is humility. One must recognize and acknowledge their neediness.
I am grateful that Jesus pictures our neediness as the neediness of a child. There is a vast difference between the idea of considering one’s self the scum of the earth and without any value verses being a child who requires a loving and guiding parent. God, our father and creator, does not approach us in a way that asks us to grovel. He is not put out or offended by street urchins in ragged clothes – unkempt and dirty. Instead He approaches us as children who were lost and now found, sons and daughters to celebrate their home coming.
The call to humility is wrapped in very big arms of LOVE.