Friday, November 2, 2018
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.
— Matthew 5:3-10
These Beatitudes, these promises made by Christ on the Father’s behalf, are at the heart of the Sermon on the Mount and comprise the defining credo of the quality of life known as the Christian life. And yet … so many times in the past and so many times in the present … they seemed to have been cast aside for the sake of supposedly righteous causes and holy crusades. And when we have done so, we have suffered and the Lord has wept.
Too many Christian voices try to rationalize them away as but unrealistic pipe dreams, not applicable to the reality of this world. They diminish their significance because they counter to the tenor of the times and the ways of faith that are alloyed with the prejudices of the world. They choose to ignore them for the call for a way of life which goes counter to the “common sense” of the warring ways of humanity.
To be humble in spirit as the poor are humble … to embrace those who mourn with the comforting presence of God in human form … to be gentle with Creation and all its creatures, even those of humankind so that we will always have this place of Providence … to be desperate for wisdom and discernment to know the right ways of God and then to do them … to be providers of mercy to others so that we all might now mercy … to seek to be pure in heart so that we are no longer blinded by the dust of this world … to gain the Peace that only God can give so that we then in turn might help make a more peaceable Realm … to be willing to bear the wounds of the swords of worldly powers so that we not abandon the rightness and goodness of God.
If I had my way … I would invite all souls to bring these beatitudes, these promises of Christ, these ways that will mark the life of Christians and the Christian community. But, sadly, too many will be too busy with other concerns than living in fulfillment of Christ’s vision.
Always in Christ’s Service,
Fr. Charitas de la Cruz