Daily Devotional for September 21
September 21 Matthew 5:1-12
At the time Jesus walked this earth, people believed that human
affliction, sorrow, and disease were signs of God's punishment
for sin. But Jesus had a different theology. Instead of referring
to the afflicted and sorrowful as sinners, Jesus, in the
Beatitudes, called them "blessed." By using such a word, Jesus
broke thousands of years of religious tradition that linked sin
"Sickness and sorrow are not signs of my punishment," Jesus
might say. "I don't send disease and suffering. People attribute
characteristics to me they don't even give the devil. I've never
heard anyone claim that disease was a consequence of the
devil's wrath. I always get blamed for it. Would a mother give
her child a stone if the child asked for bread? Would a father
give his child cancer, tuberculosis, or AIDS? If only the world
would stop bearing me false witness.
"To the poor in spirit, I send my Spirit, because I
am love, not disease.
"To the sorrowful, I send my comfort, because I
am comfort, not affliction.
"To the lowly, I give the whole earth, for only those
who have the least can receive the most.
"To those who hunger and thirst for a relationship
with me, I give them my heart, my spirit, and my
"To the merciful, I also give my blessing. Their
mercy for others stems from my mercy to them.
"To all peacemakers, I offer a piece of my heart.
"And to all those who are persecuted for seeing and
proclaiming me as a God of love, I give my
"Blessed are you all, in all circumstances, but
especially blessed are you when you call me in
affliction, in sorrow, and in disease, for there I
am in your midst."
From The Road to Emmaus - An inclusive devotional Edited by Joseph W. Houle
Emmaus House of Prayer - Washington D.C.1989