Monday of the Tenth Week in Ordinary Time, June 8
The Beatitudes Are the Guideposts, the Spiritual Markers Which Become Our Roadmap to Heaven, Our Map to Eternal Life – that Ultimate Goal Which Only God Can Satisfy.
“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…” – the first three of the nine Beatitudes which we find in today’s Gospel from the Book of Matthew.
How do the Beatitudes influence our daily lives and this journey we are making through life, which is a pilgrimage of sorts as we continue to grow in our personal relationship with God?
For those of us who are old enough to remember, Ronald Reagan, who was the fortieth President of the United States, was a man who was involved in many different facets of life.
And as a result of his many and varied life’s experiences, and regardless of one’s political persuasion, one of the things which stood out during his tenure as the nation’s President was his ability to communicate. As a matter of fact, he was labeled as the “great communicator” due to his ability to connect with the American people.
He was once quoted as saying, “I won the nickname the great communicator. But I never thought it was my style that made a difference – it was the content.”
And this is exactly what we find in today’s Gospel, a style which was very simple and straight forward – very easy to understand. And yet, it stands out as one of the great discourses of our Lord, due to the very nature of its content!
For it is the Beatitudes which are at the very heart of Jesus’ preaching. Our Catechism teaches us that “They take up the promises made to the chosen people since Abraham. The Beatitudes fulfill the promises by ordering them to no longer merely take possession of some physical territory.” – which was the case with Abraham and his descendants.
But rather through Jesus’ discourse, they present us with the final gift itself, the Kingdom of Heaven. For the Beatitudes raise our minds and hearts toward Heaven, our enduring hope in the new Promised Land, the New Jerusalem – even in the midst of the many trials we sometimes have to overcome on this side of eternity.
And Christ is no stranger to the many difficulties which we oftentimes face in this life. He Himself chose to share in our sufferings. It was out of His unfathomable Love for you and me that He emptied Himself, setting aside the awesome Nature of His own Divinity, so as to take upon Himself our human nature in every way except sin.
And by virtue of His Infinite Love, Mercy and Compassion which the Eternal Father has for each of His children, it is Christ Himself who walks with us and helps us in our struggles to be a holy people, to be a people in oneness with Himself.
Even today’s psalmist echoes this very concept of God’s compassionate support, “I lift up my eyes toward the mountains; whence shall help come to me? My help is from the LORD, who made heaven and earth.”
These nine Beatitudes which Jesus teaches us – “Blessed are the poor in spirit…”; “Blessed are those who mourn…”; “Blessed are the meek…”; “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness…”; “Blessed are the merciful…”; “Blessed are the pure in heart…”; “Blessed are the peacemakers…”; “Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake…”; and “Blessed are you when men revile you…” – they are the guideposts, the spiritual markers which become our roadmap to Heaven – our map to eternal life!
The word beatitude literally means “happiness” or “blessedness”. Of course, in the world which we live today, the Beatitudes which Jesus offers us are a sign of contradiction to the world’s understanding of happiness and joy. For today’s society would ask, “How can one possibly find happiness in poverty, hunger, mourning, suffering and persecution?”
Poverty of spirit finds ample room and joy in possessing God as the greatest possible treasure. Hunger of the spirit seeks nourishment and strength in God’s Word and Sacrament. Sorrow and mourning over wasted life and sin leads to joyful freedom from the burden of guilt and spiritual oppression.
Jesus offers to the pure of heart a life which is richly filled with spiritual satisfaction. God reveals to the humble and meek of heart the true source of abundant life and happiness. And those who stand up for the faith in which they believe will be richly rewarded beyond all imagination in the life to come!
Jesus promises His disciples and each one of us today that the joys of Heaven will more than compensate for the troubles and hardships that we can expect in this world.
The very nature of the Beatitudes responds to our natural desire for happiness, a desire which God has placed in our hearts – a desire for that ultimate goal which only God can satisfy. And for those of us who place God first in our lives, for those of us who live lives of true blessedness, our Lord responds, “Rejoice and be glad, for your reward will be great in heaven.”
I would like to close this meditation on today’s Scripture Readings with a prayer upon which we should all take a moment to interiorly reflect:
“Lord Jesus, increase my hunger for You and show me the way that leads to everlasting peace and happiness. May I desire You above all else in this life and find perfect joy in always fulfilling Your will. Amen.” †
Please Comment, Like and Share, and Suggest to your Facebook friends – to spread the message of God’s Merciful Love.
Por favor Comente, Le Gusta y Comparta, y Sugiera a tus amigos en Facebook – en difundir el mensaje del Misericordioso Amor de Dios.
Scripture for the Day
- “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.” (Matthew 5:3-5)
- “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and God of all encouragement, who encourages us in our every affliction, so that we may be able to encourage those who are in any affliction with the encouragement with which we ourselves are encouraged by God.” (2 Corinthians 1:3-4)
- “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.” (Matthew 5: 6-10)
- “For as Christ’s sufferings overflow to us, so through Christ does our encouragement also overflow.” (2 Corinthians 1:5)
- “I lift up my eyes toward the mountains; whence shall help come to me? My help is from the LORD, who made heaven and earth.” (Psalm 121:1bc-2)
- “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 5:11-12a)
- “Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is gracious, if there is any excellence and if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. Keep on doing what you have learned and received…Then the God of peace will be with you.” (Philippians 4:8-9)
Prayer for the Day
“God, our Heavenly Father, in my pilgrimage through life, nourish me with Your Word and Your Truth, and make me one with You in love and prayer.
“Fill my heart with Your Love and keep me faithful to the Gospel of Christ. Give me the grace to rise above my human weakness; give me new life by Your Holy Sacraments,
especially Reconciliation and Eucharist.
“Father, our Source of life, I reach out with joy to grasp Your hand; let me walk more readily in Your ways. Guide me in Your gentle Mercy, for, left to myself, I cannot hope to do Your will.
“Father of Love, Source of all blessings, help me to pass from my old life of sin to the new life of grace and righteousness, in answer to Your invitation to my soul.
“Prepare me for the glory of Your Kingdom, for I ask all this through our Lord Jesus Christ, Your Son, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit,Anonymous
one God, for ever and ever. Amen.”