Ordinary Time


God sure does have a different way of doing things.

Maybe God is trying to turn our upside-down world right-side-up.


Now when Jesus saw the crowds, he went up a mountain. He sat down and his disciples came to him. He taught them, saying:

“Happy are people who are hopeless, because the kingdom of heaven is theirs.

“Happy are people who grieve, because they will be made glad.”


Matthew 5:1-4


In the gospel of Matthew, Jesus begins his ministry by sitting down and teaching people. Crowds of people have gathered around him and can’t wait to hear what this amazing person will say — and the very first thing out of his mouth is that people who are sad and grieving will be comforted and given the very kingdom of God. Huh? That was anticlimactic. Couldn’t he have done something more exciting to begin his ministry, like performing an exorcism as he does in the gospel of Mark? Or like turning water into wine as he does in the gospel of John?

Instead, we learn that God gives the very keys of the kingdom to those who are sad. Huh? What about those who are powerful? Well-spoken? Wealthy? Aren’t those better qualities than a face marked with sadness and tears?

There must be something very important about beginning his public ministry by telling us that what we value is not the same as what God values.

Erin Spengeman Hutchison


God, you have a different way of doing things. Remind me that your kingdom is here right now, not just in the future. Remind me that you sit alongside those who are down and out and grieving — and that you not only offer them Kleenex, but also your very kingdom. Amen.


Today, join God in turning the world right-side-up, one decision at a time.