Dear Brothers and Sisters,
We heard Jesus teaching on the mountain and his eightfold path of happiness. We call it beatitudes. I believe beatitudes are stair ways to heaven. The Beatitudes teach us how to become more like God, how to reflect the goodness and beauty and truth in the heart of God, in the Sacred Heart of Jesus. “Blessed are the poor in spirit for theirs is the kingdom of heaven”: this beatitude is not praising economic poverty but poverty in spirit which is being dependent on God for everything. Poor in spirit is a state of life that Adam and Eve had before they sinned. It is a state where we trust completely on God.
“Blessed are they who mourn for they will be comforted”: we normally understand this mourning as mourning for our sins and the sins for others, so it praises repentance. We mourn for our sins and the sins of others because they are an offense against God. It really means God will be at your side. Blessed are you if you mourn your sins and the sins of others, God will be by your side to console you.
“Blessed are the meek for they will inherit the land”: the meek are not those who lie down under a beating but those who have the goodwill to change a bad situation into better. They do not use violence because they do not return evil for evil. The meek will inherit the land, but not any land on earth that might be taken over by force and violence; instead they will inherit the Promised Land of Heaven.
“Blessed are they who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be satisfied”: those who are righteous are in right relationship with God. We could say they are holy. Whenever there is some social situation established on a false foundation it is not reflecting the beauty and truth and goodness of God. We hunger and thirst for these false situations to be rectified and justified because we are concerned not only with our personal relationship with God but we want the best for all people. God wants to bless us not only as individuals but wants to bless society to reflect more the heart of God. Therefore when there is anything ungodly in society, such as abortion, we hunger and thirst for righteousness.
“Blessed are the merciful for they will be shown mercy”: we all stand in need of God’s mercy but instead of waiting for God to be merciful to us first this beatitude praises those who are merciful to others now. God is merciful and this beatitude praises those who act like God.
“Blessed are the clean of heart for they will see God”: the word “clean” used by Matthew is also used to describe the purifying rituals of the Jews, so a clean or pure heart is not just a heart free of impure thoughts but a heart that has been cleaned, consecrated, and made ready to receive God’s holiness. All worldly attachments have been removed from such a heart so it is ready to receive the presence of God.
“Blessed are the peacemakers for they will be called sons of God”: Jesus, the Son of God, is called the Prince of Peace because he made peace between God and us through shedding his blood in sacrifice for us. We also are peacemakers when we try to bring people closer to God and in that sense we are sons of God.
“Blessed are those persecuted for the sake of righteousness for theirs is the kingdom of heaven”: this beatitude praises those persecuted for the sake of righteousness, for the sake of Jesus.
So we could summarize Jesus’ teaching in this way: when we are poor in spirit we are aware of our sins and mourn for our sins. Therefore we know in our hearts that violence is not the way forward but being meek and gentle and so we hunger and thirst for righteousness when we see violence done to others. We do this in our own lives when we forgive those who hurt us. If we did not live our faith, are not pure in heart, we would not be happy. We always want to bring the peace of Jesus to the world even if others persecute us because giving in to pressure to follow the crowd will never bring us blessedness.
God Bless You,