Monday, June 8, 2015

“Destiny is not a matter of chance; it is a matter of choice. It is not a thing to be waited for.”

“You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself any direction you choose. You're on your own. And you know what you know. And YOU are the one who'll decide where to go...” - Dr Seuss (1904 – 1991: American writer and cartoonist)

Gospel Text: (MT 5:1-12)
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.
Thus they persecuted the prophets who were before you.”

We cannot turn on our TVs without seeing those who have suffered death and destruction because of flood, riots in the streets, gang violence or the devastation that is caused by war. Some of those interviewed curse. They curse the darkness. They curse their enemies. They curse their persecutors. We can see their obvious pain. We can hear how they search for meaning as they scream: Why! Why me? Why us? How can God do this to us?

Others interviewed bless. They bless God. They bless the people who come to help. They bless their missing family members or those who have died because of the storms, because of the violence, because of injustice.

Each day that we get up, we can bless God and bless the people who surround us. We can bless our family and friends. We can bless our co-workers and our neighbors. We can bless the homeless person and even the shyster who is trying to steal our belongings.

Or we can curse. We can curse the crooks. We can curse the evil-doers, we can curse who have wronged us.

Jesus was well aware of the sufferings and sorrows of the people who came to him for consolation and comfort. Their daily lives were not easy. Yet Jesus chose to bless and not to curse. Jesus blesses the poor, the peacemaker, the sorrowing, the meek, those who hunger and thirst for justice, those who suffer persecution.

Jesus is letting us know that if we turn to God and if we decide to follow Him, the strength, the grace, the courage to bless and not to curse is there for the asking.

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