Today’s Gospel is the Beatitudes, from St Matthew. Here is the first: ‘Blessed are the poor in spirit; for theirs is the kingdom of Heaven’.

St John Chrysostom commented: ‘What is meant by the poor in spirit? The humble and contrite in mind. For by spirit He has here designated the soul, and the faculty of choice. That is, since many are humble not willingly, but compelled by stress of circumstances; letting these pass (for this were no matter of praise), He blesses them first, who by choice humble and contract themselves. But why said he not, the humble, but rather the poor? Because this is more than that. For He means here them who are awestruck, and tremble at the commandments of God. Whom also by His prophet Isaiah God earnestly accepting said, To whom will I look, but to him who is meek and quiet, and trembles at My words? … Nevertheless, in a contrite soul, and in a spirit of lowliness, may we be accepted’.

Our thoughts turn naturally to Our Lady, and to her Magnificat. ‘My soul magnifies the Lord, and my spirit rejoices in God my Saviour, for he has regarded the low estate of his handmaiden. For behold, henceforth all generations will call me blessed …’

May Our Lady pray for us, that we may come to this place of humble purity, and may God bless you this day.