Friday, November 1, 2013

Dare to be Saints……………….

God wants your friendship. And once you enter into friendship with God, everything in your life begins to change. As you come to know him better, you find you want to reflect something of his infinite goodness in your own life. You are attracted to the practice of virtue. You begin to see greed and selfishness and all the other sins for what they really are, destructive and dangerous tendencies that cause deep suffering and do great damage, and you want to avoid falling into that trap yourselves. You begin to feel compassion for people in difficulties and you are eager to do something to help them. You want to come to the aid of the poor and the hungry, you want to comfort the sorrowful, you want to be kind and generous. And once these things begin to matter to you, you are well on the way to becoming saints.”--Pope Benedict XVI

Gospel Text: (MT 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.”

Today’s Gospel passage is one of the most famous in the Bible; it is one of Jesus’ most used and read teachings. Because of this, I think that many of us ignore or skim these words since we have heard them so often. Today, I wanted to pause and really reflect on what Jesus is saying.

The first part that really stands out to me is, “Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth.” In our fast-paced and cutthroat world, we often see meekness as a massive flaw instead of as a blessing. But, what Jesus says is that, the meek are to be blessed; He loves the meek so much that He is going to give them the earth. This is powerful, the world may see this as a flaw, but Jesus sees this as beautiful.

Not only is Jesus standing up for those who are seen as less than valuable, but he calls us to act in a certain way. He says that we should be “merciful” and “clean of heart.” These are also concepts that are foreign in our society. It is so hard to show mercy when we are rarely shown it and, in our secular world, how immensely hard it is to have a pure and clean heart! Yet, this is what Jesus asks of us, that we show mercy and protect our hearts because this is how we grow closer to God.

Being like Jesus means being different; He never says this will be easy. In fact, Jesus says time and again that we will be persecuted and hated because of Him. Even though many of us are lucky to live in places where we have the freedom to express our faith without fear of death, we are often seen as strange or a threat. Again, Jesus says this is okay.

The end of this passage is my favorite because of the promise that it gives, “Rejoice and be glad, for your reward will be great in heaven.” So, today, I will strive to be meek, I will do my best to be merciful and have a clean heart, I will remember the promise of heaven.

Most importantly, I will rejoice and be glad!

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