Then Jesus began to speak, and taught them, saying:
1. Blessed are the poor, who are on the margins living day by day, wondering how they will care for their children and put food on the table, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
2. Blessed are those who mourn, who are finding this time to be full of grief and lament, isolated from loved ones and alone with their racing thoughts, for they will be comforted.
3. Blessed are the meek, the ones who bring a listening ear and helping hand to those in need, for they will inherit the earth.
4. Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, those who dare to ask hard questions of our systems and leaders and dream of a future of radical change and neighbour-love, for they will be filled.
5. Blessed are the merciful, the doctors and nurses and hospital staff, the sanitation workers and custodians, the grocery store clerks and shelf stockers, the gas station attendants, the line cooks and restaurant servers, the social workers, the farmers, the caregivers, the teachers, the ones who are putting themselves out there for our sake, for they will receive mercy.
6. Blessed are the pure in heart, the ones who bring joy amid sorrow, the children who laugh and the adults who cry, the dogs and cats and pets who keep us company during the day, for the ones who embrace complicated emotions and cling to scraps of hope, for they will see God.
7. Blessed are the peacemakers, who offer prayer and solace and who advocate for justice and peace, for they will be called children of God.
8. Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, for the sick and the poor and the uninsured and the homeless and the incarcerated who have died or will die from the virus and from our systems of poverty and healthcare, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
These are based on Jesus’ words from Matthew 5:1-12 and have been adapted by Maggie Thomas