Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Following Jesus isn’t something you can do at night where no one notices

“You have made us for yourself, and our heart is restless until it rests in you.” – St. Augustine

Gospel Text: (LK 6:20-26)
Raising his eyes toward his disciples Jesus said:
“Blessed are you who are poor,
for the Kingdom of God is yours.
Blessed are you who are now hungry,
for you will be satisfied.
Blessed are you who are now weeping,
for you will laugh.
Blessed are you when people hate you,
and when they exclude and insult you,
and denounce your name as evil
on account of the Son of Man.

Rejoice and leap for joy on that day!
Behold, your reward will be great in heaven.
For their ancestors treated the prophets
in the same way.

But woe to you who are rich,
for you have received your consolation.
But woe to you who are filled now,
for you will be hungry.
Woe to you who laugh now,
for you will grieve and weep.
Woe to you when all speak well of you,
for their ancestors treated the false
prophets in this way.”

If we feel content and complete with all our earthly wealth and success how can we develop our dependence and reliance on God? How does one strengthen and enrich a relationship if there is not a need for the other person in your life? If one is so independent, as to not need another person’s help, council, ideas, or support, how does a non-relationship with another enrich you?

We can clearly see that the values prescribed by Jesus are counter-cultural. We cannot accept these teachings of Jesus and at the same time accept all the values of the society in which we live. Of course, Jesus does not demand that we abandon the world. But he does demand that we put God first in our lives because only God can guarantee the true happiness and peace that our hearts long for. Nothing in the world can give this peace, and nothing in the world can take it away.

The Beatitudes can only be fully appreciated in the light of eternal life. Nevertheless, if we put these Beatitudes into practice we can create a new culture of life and a civilization of love. The key for unlocking the meaning of the Sermon on the Mount is simply this: Jesus is the man of the beatitudes. Through his preaching, the Lord is opening a door of understanding into his divine and human life.

The Beatitudes open a path for each follower of Christ. They are stepping-stones on the way to the Kingdom of God. We cannot live them fully without the grace of the Holy Spirit. Let us beseech the three Divine Persons, asking for the favor to be men and women of The Beatitudes.

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