“Blessed are the poor in spirit,
for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
Blessed are they who mourn,
for they shall be comforted.
Blessed are the meek,
for they shall inherit the earth.
Blessed are they who hunger and thirst for righteousness,
for they shall be satisfied.
Blessed are the merciful,
for they shall obtain mercy.
Blessed are the pure of heart,
for they shall see God.
Blessed are the peacemakers,
for they shall be called children of God.
Blessed are they who are persecuted for the sake of righteousness,
for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.” (Matthew 5:3-10)
The Sermon on the Mount begins with the Beatitudes. Jesus taught us lessons for our journey in this life. Beatitude is “a state of utmost bliss.” The Beatitudes are stepping stones to what Christ wants us to become. In return for implementing them in our lives, we are given complete happiness. Our hearts, souls and spirits are transfigured, and we become like Him. He is preparing us for life in His kingdom.
The first step is the “poor in spirit.” We must submit to God’s Will, to be humble and to realize that all we have, and all that we are, comes from him and not of ourselves. The second step is built on the first as we start to mourn our sinfulness, and we want to live for God and do His Will. As we work to improve ourselves, we will become meek, which will cause us to “hunger” or “thirst” for goodness in us and throughout the world. Then, we will become loving, compassionate and merciful towards our neighbor. Our hearts will be rid of selfishness and pure. We will be filled with peace and will desire to spread peace to others. Lastly, we will be persecuted for following Christ. “If they have persecuted me, they will persecute you also.”(John 15:20-21) The Beatitudes are explained individually here: http://jesuschristsavior.net/Beatitudes.html
We must not lose heart over the last one. We are not created for this world but for our heavenly home with God. We will have times when we are ridiculed, mocked or opposed in our faith, but we must take comfort in God’s promises. Think of the Christians who are paying the ultimate price for Christ. Their reward is certainly great in heaven.
Now, we will compare them to the six things that God hates, seven that are detestable, in Proverbs 6:16-19:
“16 There are six things the Lord hates, seven that are detestable to him:
17 haughty eyes, a lying tongue, hands that shed innocent blood,
18 a heart that devises wicked schemes, feet that are quick to rush into evil,
19 a false witness who pours out lies and a person who stirs up conflict in a community.” (Proverbs 6:16-19)
They are nearly complete opposites of the Beatitudes. The Beatitudes bring forth blessings while the opposites cause violence, tension and hate. We see these growing and spreading everyday.
We must ask God for the graces we need to do His will, to help us to live the Beatitudes. It must start with us, so that love and peace can flow from us and cause others to live the Beatitudes as well. It is how Jesus wants us to live: the way of the Beatitudes.
by Rebecca Johnasen