Sunday, January 30, 2011

Because the Beatitudes Illuminate our Upside-Down World

Christianity's Eight Beatitudes, or blessings, are a beautiful follow-up to the Ten Commandments. Christ's blessings are as relevent now as they were 2,000 years ago to people suffering under Roman occupation. The values of this world - material wealth, fame, political power - often directly contradict the values of the Body of Christ. When we begin to understand that Christ is with us right this minute, we do not need to wait for our reward in heaven; our joy begins now because we see how Christ is imbedded in the reality of our daily lives.

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.

Today in St.  Peter's Square, Pope Benedict XVI told thousands of young people this  Sermon on the Mount is directed to people in all ages “and yet it demands discipleship and can be understood and lived out only by following Jesus and accompanying him on his journey,”

“The beatitudes are the new program of life, to free ourselves from the false values of the world and open ourselves to the true good, present and future.

“When, in fact, God consoles,” said the Pope, “he satiates the hunger of justice, dries the tears of the afflicted.” This consolation rewards every person in a sensitive way and “opens the Kingdom of Heaven.”