In a world of so much uncertainty, Matthew has much to say to us. It is a Gospel written for a community at a turning point, trying to discern their identity as a community, reflecting on who they are and who Jesus is for them. This early Christian community were nourished by the Risen Christ, alive and active, present in their community, just as the Word is alive and active, Christ present in our world today (Heb 4.:12).
Matthew is written to offer hope from Jesus, their Teacher. We are also invited to this encounter, so that we can be nourished and sustained in our desire to live out Jesus' teaching and example and find a way forward in a world and a Church that are also at a turning point. In Jesus' most famous sermon, delivered from the mountain top, we hear the challenge of The Beatitudes. These are the core teachings of Christianity today, characteristics for Christian living. They set out before us the challenge to live like Jesus, and show us that God always sides with the poor, those who thirst for justice and peace, those who are persecuted and those who mourn.
The book includes tips for prayer and meditation to nourish ourselves along the way, as well as practical suggestions for living out our faith in the modern world. Following on from our inclusion of the Season of Creation in the Luke edition, we continue to focus on the cry of the earth and the cry of the poor.
As we navigate Matthew's Gospel, we hope to address the question of how this Gospel is relevant for everyday life in all its complexities and in doing so, offer a nourishing spirituality grounded in the Word of God.