“Beatitudes are what make us truly happy”
If asked the question “Why was Jesus born into our world?” We might reply:
to do what his Father in heaven wanted;
to show his love for his Father;
to show his Father’s love for those mankind;
to fulfil the prophecies made by God the Father to the Jewish people.
However, it must be recognised that Jesus the Christ, the Messiah, came to teach mankind a new way of living and behaving with what can be called a new agreement or covenant.
The Gospel reading this week is about a principal set of teachings which Jesus gave to his followers, contained in what is known as the Sermon on the Mount.
In the Old Testament, Moses went up Mount Sinai and God gave him the ten commandments – part of the old covenant to teach to the people of Israel.
In the New Testament, Jesus went up a mount and taught those who followed him nine short teachings called the beatitudes.
Beatitudes are things which make a person happy in the long term or blessed in the eyes of God.
The parallels are striking. Each covenant was a direct intervention by Persons of the Blessed Trinity, each giving teachings on two mounts, each Person teaching with his own authority.
Blessed are the poor, the mourning, the meek, the hungry, the merciful, the pure, the peacemakers, the persecuted, and the reviled.
In Jesus’ teaching of the beatitudes, he does not set aside the commandments of old. He gives them a new sense of meaning expressing the wishes of his Father through the eyes of love, compassion and mercy.
Do you want to have the presence or kingdom of God in your life? Be poor in spirit allowing God to get a look in. Do you want to have your fill of God, feed the hungry.
The beatitudes are not some sort of theory. They are pointers to the ethical or moral behaviour for those who want to be called followers of Jesus the Christ.
How Christian are we?
Count the number of beatitudes in our weekly lives.