June 8, 2020

Gospel MT 5:1-12

When Jesus saw the crowds, he went up the mountain,
and after he had sat down, his disciples came to him.
He began to teach them, saying:
“Blessed are the poor in spirit,
for theirs is the Kingdom of heaven.
Blessed are they who mourn,
for they will be comforted.
Blessed are the meek,
for they will inherit the land.
Blessed are they who hunger and thirst for righteousness,
for they will be satisfied.
Blessed are the merciful,
for they will be shown mercy.
Blessed are the clean of heart,
for they will see God.
Blessed are the peacemakers,
for they will be called children of God.
Blessed are they who are persecuted for the sake of righteousness,
for theirs is the Kingdom of heaven.
Blessed are you when they insult you and persecute you
and utter every kind of evil against you falsely because of me.
Rejoice and be glad,
for your reward will be great in heaven.
Thus they persecuted the prophets who were before you.”

Reflection

In the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus taught His followers the Beatitudes: “the blessings.” The Beatitudes teach us about the very nature of God.

To be “blessed” is to be content, to be at peace with ourselves and our Creator. Our sense of well being, our happiness, is a result of our ability to “let go and let God” to give up the need for control that stems from fear and anxiety.

Jesus teaches us these truths so that we may live in accordance with the ways of God.

“He began to teach them, saying:
“Blessed are the poor in spirit,
for theirs is the Kingdom of heaven.”

I believe Jesus began with “Blessed are the poor in spirit” because this blessing is the foundation of a content life.

To be “poor in spirit” is to be satisfied with what you have, whether it is a feast or simply a bowl of soup.

I recall a tale of a man who lived a simple lifestyle. When he started out in life he calculated what it cost him to live. He went on to be very successful and extremely wealthy. Nevertheless, his cost of living never increased because he was content and happy living a simple life. He used all of his excess wealth to help those less fortunate.

Each Beatitude carries with it a lesson about the very nature of God.

God loves each of us as if we were His only child. His desire is for us to be happy and make His love known to all who we encounter.

Because we are “made in the image” of God, the “nature of God” is within each of us. Meditating on the Beatitudes will help us to see God reflected in ourself and in others.

“As water races down the mountain to join the sea, may we too rush to become one with the ways of God.” Unknown