Growing by Encountering God in the Bible
Peace and Justice
“You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I say to you, love your enemies, and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be children of your heavenly Father, for he makes his sun rise on the bad and the good, and causes rain to fall on the just and the unjust.
Matthew 5: 43-45
When he saw the crowds, he went up the mountain, and after he had sat down, his disciples came to him. He began to teach them, saying:
“Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
Blessed are they who mourn, for they will be comforted.
Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the land.
Blessed are they who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be satisfied.
Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy.
Blessed are the clean of heart, for they will see God.
Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God.
Blessed are they who are persecuted for the sake of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
Blessed are you when they insult you and persecute you and utter every kind of evil against you [falsely] because of me.
Rejoice and be glad, for your reward will be great in heaven. Thus they persecuted the prophets who were before you.
Matthew 5: 1-12
You have been told, O mortal, what is good,
and what the LORD requires of you:
Only to do justice and to love goodness,
and to walk humbly with your God.
Thus says the LORD:
Here is my servant whom I uphold,
my chosen one with whom I am pleased,
upon whom I have put my spirit;
he shall bring forth justice to the nations,
not crying out, not shouting,
not making his voice heard in the street.
a bruised reed he shall not break,
and a smoldering wick he shall not quench,
until he establishes justice on the earth;
the coastlands will wait for his teaching.
I, the LORD, have called you for the victory of justice,
I have grasped you by the hand;
I formed you, and set you
as a covenant of the people,
a light for the nations,
to open the eyes of the blind,
to bring out prisoners from confinement,
and from the dungeon, those who live in darkness.
Isaiah 42: 1-4, 6-7
The Lord bless you and keep you;
The Lord make his face shine upon you and be gracious to you;
The Lord turn his face toward you and give you peace.
Study The Gospel of Matthew
In the Roman Catholic Church, the Sunday cycle of readings is divided into three years, labeled A, B, and C. This year, Year A, we read mostly from the Gospel of Matthew.
Matthew's Gospel is important for its distinctive and grand conception of the God who comes to claim and call a people in Jesus the Messiah. The promise of God's presence frames and interprets the whole story of Jesus the Messiah. It thus calls to discipleship and faithful and confident following, shaping a new community that is constituted and lives by the forgiveness of God. The Sermon on the Mount proclaims to Jesus' disciples the blessing of God for a people who are salt and light for the world. This is a people who experience the surprising message of the kingdom as being like treasure hidden in a field and who in the joy of discovery go and sell everything to acquire such a treasure. Such a people are surprised to find a God who desires mercy and not sacrifice, and so calls them to live responsibly here and now in the meantime as a new community empowered by the living presence of God's Messiah, to live in the promise of mutual forgiveness.
Go to Enter the Bible to begin your journey.