Roc Homily – Sermon on the Mount situates us. (A) 2017

poor-in-spirit-2Perhaps we caught a glimpse of what “Poor” looks like in “Poor in Spirit.”  Let’s look at “Spirit” today.

  1. The Greek, pneuma, refers to two different realities – the spirit of God and the human spirit.  First, the human spirit (which calls out for conversion)… It ain’t pretty.

Numbers 5:13f          …if a spirit of jealousy comes on him, and he is jealous of his wife who has defiled herself; or if a spirit of jealousy comes on him, and he is jealous of his wife, though she has not defiled herself;

Deuteronomy 2:30      But King Sihon of Heshbon was not willing to let us pass through, for the Lord your God had hardened his spirit and made his heart defiant in order to hand him over to you, as he has now done.

Psalm 51:17      The sacrifice acceptable to God is a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart, O God, you will not despise.

Psalm 78:6–8      6 that the next generation might know them, the children yet unborn, and rise up and tell them to their children, 7 so that they should set their hope in God, and not forget the works of God, but keep his commandments; 8 and that they should not be like their ancestors, a stubborn and rebellious generation, a generation whose heart was not steadfast, whose spirit was not faithful to God.

Baruch 3:1f      1 O Lord Almighty, God of Israel, the soul in anguish and the wearied spirit cry out to you. 2 Hear, O Lord, and have mercy, for we have sinned before you.

We humans deal with jealousy, hardened spirits, defiant hearts, impenetrable spirits, unfaithful spirits, stubbornness, rebellion, anguished and wearied spirits.  Seems to me our poverty (which we almost always deny) erupts in defiance against our plight.  Hence, defiance, envy, etc…  Why is this blessed???

In other words, it sucks to be poor in spirit.  This is nothing we can become for we already are poor in spirit, we simply detest it and deny it.  And we project that on others.

 

2. God seeks to replace our hearts of stone and unfaithful spirits… That what Jesus was doing in the Sermon on the Mount – opening up the way. 

Psalm 51:10–12       Create in me a clean heart, O God, and put a new and right spirit within me. 11 Do not cast me away from your presence, and do not take your holy spirit from me. 12 Restore to me the joy of your salvation, and sustain in me a willing spirit. 

Ezekiel 11:18–20      When they come there, they will remove from it all its detestable things and all its abominations. 19 I will give them one heart, and put a new spirit within them; I will remove the heart of stone from their flesh and give them a heart of flesh, 20 so that they may follow my statutes and keep my ordinances and obey them. Then they shall be my people, and I will be their God.

Ezekiel 36:25–27       I will sprinkle clean water upon you, and you shall be clean from all your uncleannesses, and from all your idols I will cleanse you. 26 A new heart I will give you, and a new spirit I will put within you; and I will remove from your body the heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh. 27 I will put my spirit within you, and make you follow my statutes and be careful to observe my ordinances.

 

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