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The Beatitudes in the time of Pandemic 3

Reflection: The Beatitudes are descriptions of Kingdom living, as well as descriptions of Jesus the Messiah himself. In this Jewish context, disciples are people who want to become like their rabbi. In the Sermon on the Mount Jesus is teaching them (us) how. “Those who wanted to be like him came to him and this is what he told them.” As we proceed, ask yourself how Jesus lives out each of the “blessed” descriptors in the Beatitudes from Matthew 5.

Scripture: Matthew 5: 1-10

Now when Jesus saw the crowds, he went up on a mountainside and sat down. His disciples came to him, 2 and he began to teach them. He said:

“Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted. Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth. Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled. Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy. Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God. Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God. Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

Pure: Why do get up in the morning? What is your motivation for living each day? Jesus’ motivation was to accomplish his Father’s work and will. His life was about God and about others. Remember: in the Beatitudes Jesus is teaching his disciples how to be like him.

Peacemakers: Peace is such a poor word here. The meaning is the Hebrew “shalom” or the way God intended things to be from before the Fall. Blessed are those who are working to make every area of their lives the way God intended them to be: work, marriage, family, learning, politics, leadership, … etc.

Persecuted: Blessed are those who are persecuted because they are standing up for what is right and just. Today, if you stand up for what is right and just, don’t expect everyone to be happy about it! Stand up against abortion, against materialism, against pornography, against racism and the inherent inequality it fosters. If you do, you are favored by God (blessed).

James 2:14-16

What good is it, my brothers and sisters, if someone claims to have faith but has no deeds? Can such faith save them? 15 Suppose a brother or a sister is without clothes and daily food. If one of you says to them, “Go in peace; keep warm and well fed,” but does nothing about their physical needs, what good is it? In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead.

“You only know as much as you do.” St. Francis

 

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