1st Reading: Rev 7:2–4, 9–14*
I saw another angel ascending from the sunrise, carrying the seal of the living God, and he cried out with a loud voice to the four angels empowered to harm the earth and the sea, “Do not harm the earth or the sea or the trees until we have sealed the servants of our God upon their foreheads.”
After this I saw a great crowd, from every nation, race, people and tongue, standing before the throne and the Lamb, and they cried out with a loud voice, “Who saves but our God who sits on the throne and the Lamb?”
All the angels were around the throne, the elders and the four living creatures; they then bowed before the throne with their faces to the ground to worship God. They said, Amen. Praise, glory, wisdom, thanks, honor, power and strength to our God forever and ever. Amen!
At that moment, one of the elders spoke up and said to me, “Who are these people clothed in white, and where did they come from?” I answered, “Sir, it is you who know this.”
The elder replied, “They are those who have come out of the great persecution; they have washed and made their clothes white in the blood of the Lamb.
2nd Reading: 1 Jn 3:1–3
See what singular love the Father has for us: we are called children of God, and we really are. This is why the world does not know us, because it did not know him.
Beloved, we are God’s children and what we shall be has not yet been shown. Yet when he appears in his glory, we know that we shall be like him, for then we shall see him as he is. All who have such a hope try to be pure as he is pure.
Gospel: Matthew 5:1-12
When Jesus saw the crowds, he went up the mountain. He sat down and his disciples gathered around him. Then he spoke and began to teach them:
“Fortunate are those who are poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
Fortunate are those who mourn, they shall be comforted.
Fortunate are the gentle, they shall possess the land.
Fortunate are those who hunger and thirst for justice, for they shall be satisfied.
Fortunate are the merciful, for they shall find mercy.
Fortunate are those with a pure heart, for they shall see God.
Fortunate are those who work for peace, they shall be called children of God.
Fortunate are those who are persecuted for the cause of justice, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
Fortunate are you, when people insult you and persecute you and speak all kinds of evil against you because you are my followers. Be glad and joyful, for a great reward is kept for you in God. This is how this people persecuted the prophets who lived before you.”
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