Daily Refection – 11/1/19
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.( Matthew 5:1-12a)
Jesus boldly proclaimed in the Sermon on the Mount a fresh, new roadmap to true happiness and blessedness. All of us have a deep desire to be happy and live in peace, and we may have thought that we had it all figured out. But Jesus’ ways are the very opposite of the ways of the world.
This is Christ’s manifesto, telling us what members of the Kingdom of heaven should be like. Above all, it tells us what Jesus Himself was like.
The Beatitudes express the meaning of discipleship. What the Beatitudes mean cannot be expressed in purely theoretical terms; it is proclaimed in the life and suffering, and in the mysterious joy, of the disciple who gives himself over completely to follow the Lord.
The first four beatitudes concern those who are in different ways poor. Not that poverty is in itself a blessing. But there is a danger with wealth, in that the rich can become self-satisfied and self- sufficient. They can feel that material success can satisfy all their needs. They can think they can manage very well without God.
Whatever hardships the poor may suffer they don’t have that problem. Instead, in their need they are more likely to turn to God, knowing that He has a special concern for them. In that they are really blessed. So too were those who mourned. This applies both to us as we repent for our sins and confidently seek God’s forgiveness, and also to us as we mourn the death of our loved ones. We are blessed in the comforting hope of the resurrection.
The last four beatitudes are about those who defend the rights of the needy and poor. Again, these first describe Christ’s work and mission, which He expects us, His followers, to imitate. Like Him, we must show mercy and compassion to those in need of forgiveness. That’s a condition of our being forgiven. Like Jesus, we must work to bring about God’s justice or righteousness. To achieve this we will need to be single-minded or pure in heart. In all this we will be God’s true sons and daughters, sharing in the work of the Son of God, Who lived and died to bring His peace to a world, torn apart by sin. With Jesus we are to be ministers of reconciliation, making peace between God and man, through our repentance and His forgiveness.
Jesus warns us of opposition if we follow His way of life. But if we stand by Him, He will welcome us into His Kingdom. THAT is the greatest of all blessings.
Prayer of The Day
Dear Lord Jesus, You have called me to be holy. Enlighten my mind today to know where true happiness lies. Grant that I may desire only this true happiness and reject all deceiving imitations that the world throws my way.
The Church, in declaring a preferential option for the poor, stands with God in declaring its special concern for the vulnerable and the weak. And so, we are faced with a double challenge: to relieve the plight of the poor and to be poor with them – to give up our quest for power and material possessions and rely on God ourselves. No wonder St. Paul tells us that we are those whom the world sometimes considers absurd.