I had the privilege of standing on Mount Korazim, the historical location of the Sermon on the Mount, in March 2000 when Pope John Paul addressed an enormous gathering of young people with the following words: “Blessed are you!”, Jesus says, “all you who are poor in spirit, gentle and merciful, you who mourn, who care for what is right, who are pure in heart, who make peace, you who are persecuted! Blessed are you!” But the words of Jesus may seem strange. It is strange that Jesus exalts those whom the world generally regards as weak. He says to them, “Blessed are you who seem to be losers, because you are the true winners: the kingdom of heaven is yours!” Spoken by him who is “gentle and humble in heart” (Mt 11:29), these words present a challenge which demands a deep and abiding metanoia of the spirit, a great change of heart. On that day, the Sermon on the Mount, and our gospel this weekend, was read in Aramaic as Jesus would have spoken it and the words of Saint John Paul were powerful. Now, while we may be surrounded by doubt and uncertainty, these powerful words of St. John Paul strengthen us. We make the right choice when we listen to these words and the voice of Jesus. We are the ‘true winners’ with these words and our faith and trust in God. We are all blessed this weekend as we listen and pray together.