Monthly Archives: November 2015

Beatitudes for Today

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There is no way I can possibly match the words of the Beatitudes in the Gospel. My favorite version comes from Matthew 5:1-11

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.      (http://usccb.org/bible/ (NABRE))

It really does not matter which version you choose, what matters is how we live them and how we become them.

I am preparing for our book discussion group meeting tomorrow night.  We are reading The Joy of the Gospel by Pope Francis, and tomorrow we will be discussing Chapter 4.  As I think about this chapter, I am struck by how little I practice what Pope Francis is telling us is necessary in our lives.  As I ponder my own failures, the Beatitudes came to mind and how they might be written in words we understood today.  Yes, we understand what we need to do, and the things we are asked to do really have not changed.  The problems in the world have not changed as much as we would like to think.  We still have wars, famine, disease, homelessness, wanderers, outcasts, bigotry, crime… the list goes on and on.

So, I say it is not enough for us to consider the poor blessed, the mourners comforted, or the persecuted as having a place in heaven.  Rather we must make the Beatitudes come true here and now. Let the Beatitudes inspire you to act in certain ways.  Living them out is absolutely at the heart of the matter.  (http://bit.ly/1GLpcTK)

I know I am not a saint, nor am I a theologian or a scripture scholar.  Although this is not precisely what Jesus said, this is what I hear.  What do you hear?

Blessed are they who help the poor, feed the hungry, house the homeless.  Be like the widow who gave her last.

Blessed are they who help the stranger, the wanderer, the outcast, the immigrant.  Set aside your fears and make others welcome.

Blessed are they who pay a fair wage.  Treat others as you would treat yourself.

Blessed are they who do not judge another by the color of their skin, their faith, their gender, their sexual orientation.  We are all made in God’s image, remember this.

Blessed are they who honor others and allow others to speak rather than attack.  Blessed are they who live by Jesus’ words and accept others.

Blessed are they who are there when and where they are needed. Blessed are they who comfort.

Blessed are they who do not bully, blessed are they who help the bullied.

Blessed are the peacemakers for this may say it all.images

Jimmy Carter image by www.habitat.org

Pope Francis image by www.catholicnewsagency.com

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