The Beatitudes

Published October 31, 2020, 11:36 PM

by Manila Bulletin

MATTHEW 5:1-12a

When Jesus saw the crowds, He went up the mountain, and after He had sat down, His disciples came to Him. He began to teach them, saying:

“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.”

Beatitudes: Our Christian identity card

Today, the Solemnity of All Saints, we proclaim the Beatitudes. Pope Francis gave us a lengthy commentary on the Beatitudes in his 2018 apostolic exhortation Gaudete et Exsultate (Rejoice and Be Glad). By imitating the saints we become saints ourselves; this is, in fact, the goal of our Christian life. For Pope Francis, “nothing is more enlightening than turning to Jesus’ words… The Beatitudes are like a Christian’s identity card… In the Beatitudes, we find a portrait of the Master, which we are called to reflect in our daily lives” (GE, 63).

Let us draw helpful insights from Francis’ reflection on the first four Beatitudes.

Blessed are the poor in spirit. “Wealth ensures nothing. Indeed, once we think we are rich, we can become so self-satisfied that we leave no room for God’s Word, for the love of our brothers and sisters… That is why Jesus calls blessed those who are poor in spirit, those who have a poor heart, for there the Lord can enter… Being poor of heart: that is holiness” (GE, 68, 70).

Blessed are the meek. Pope Francis asks us to follow St. Thérèse of Lisieux who asserts that “perfect charity consists in putting up with others’ mistakes, and not being scandalized by their faults… Reacting with meekness and humility: that is holiness” (GE, 72, 74).

Blessed are those who mourn. “The world tells us exactly the opposite: entertainment, pleasure, diversion and escape make for the good life… But the cross can never be absent… Knowing how to mourn with others: that is holiness” (GE 75, 76).

Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness. “True justice comes about in people’s lives when they themselves are just… Hungering and thirsting for righteousness: that is holiness”

SOURCE: “366 Days with the Lord 2020,” ST. PAULS, 7708 St. Paul Rd., SAV, Makati City (Phils.); Tel.: 632-895-9701; Fax 632-895-7328; E-mail: [email protected]; Website: