Blessed. Even these, Jesus says, are blessed. “For theirs is the kingdom of heaven.”
What kind of Kingdom is this? And who could be its king?
When we talk about salvation as something strictly individual that results in the transport of our immortal souls to some other-worldly “heaven,” we miss the point Jesus makes that the kingdom of heaven is sprouting up all around us, here and now, as we share his radical program of unconditional love.
The radical claim of Jesus is not that we are so much free from something—oppression, marginalization, even sin or death—but that we are free for something. And that something is the terrifying prospect of being able to love in the ultimate way…unconditionally and sacrificially.
There is nothing coercive about this kind of love. Nothing about it screams, “accept me or else!”