Leo introduces the Beatitudes by reminding his audience that, while the Lord effected many bodily cures, he gave special instructions for interior health in the Beatitudes. His meditation on "most happy poverty" is somewhat more detailed than any of the others. By using the last thought on one Beatitude as the first thought on the next Beatitude, Leo links the virtues into a whole, ending with peace and adherence to the will of God.
READING FROM THE Holy Gospel according to Matthew. "At that time, Jesus, seeing the crowds, went up onto the mountain and, when he sat down, his disciples came to him," etc.1.
When our Lord Jesus Christ was "preaching the Gospel of his kingdom," dearly beloved, he was curing different kinds of "illnesses in the whole of Galilee."2. The reputation of his power was spread through all of "Syria," and "great crowds from all Judea" flocked to the heavenly Healer.3. The faith of human ignorance is slow in believing what it does not see and in hoping for what it does not know. By physical cures and visible wonders, therefore, divine instruction must stimulate those who need encouragement. In this way, they do not doubt the efficacy of that instruction whose gentle power they were experiencing. Thus the Lord transferred physical benefits into spiritual healing and, after the healing of bodies, he worked also the cure of souls.
Then, going apart from the crowds around him, he went up to the solitude of a nearby mountain. Having summoned his____________________