Daily Reflection – 6/8/2020
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.”( Matthew 5:1-12)
The desire to be happy is in each of us; to find happiness and peace, joy and contentment in life. At different stages of life, we may look for it in different ways. A child is happy to be cared for, an adolescent sometimes to be left alone, sometimes to be close to others; we may be happy in success or praise.
Jesus knows that. He speaks today of how we find happiness, how we are totally blessed. His view of happiness is different from many others. We find ‘Jesus happiness’ in being humble, gentle and kind, accepting of loss in life, in really going for what is just and right, in being straightforward and people of integrity, and in making peace. We find happiness in putting up with different hardships, humiliations and even injustice when the cause is for God.
The Beatitudes are Christ’s manifesto, telling us what members of the Kingdom of heaven should be like. Above all, they tell us what Jesus Himself was like. They speak of the very person of Jesus Christ and of his love. We discover here his poverty, his sorrow, his humility, his desire, his mercy, his purity, his peace, his courage, his joy. He lived like this himself. He could preach the ‘beatitudes’ because he lived them.
In proclaiming them, Jesus asks us to follow him and to travel with him along the path of love, the path that alone leads to eternal life. It is not an easy journey, yet the Lord promises us his grace and he never abandons us.
The beatitudes which Jesus offers us are a sign of contradiction to the world’s understanding of happiness and joy. We face so many challenges in life: poverty, distress, humiliation, the struggle for justice, persecutions, the difficulty of daily conversion, the effort to remain faithful to our call to holiness, and many others. But if we open the door to Jesus and allow him to be part of our lives, if we share our joys and sorrows with him, then we will experience the peace and joy that only God, who is infinite love, can give.
Prayer of The Day
“Lord, increase my hunger for you and show me the way that leads to everlasting peace and happiness. May I desire you above all else and find perfect joy in doing your will”.
The Beatitudes challenge our normal way of thinking. Each of us needs to ask ourselves whether our idea of happiness is similar to Jesus’ or not. This is just the first lesson, but like in every respectable course, the beginning sets the foundation. Otherwise we are building on sand.