Sunday, January 29, 2017

True Freedom is not about the fact that we can choose, it is about how and what we choose. Freedom will never be found in decisions that are made against God and against the Natural Law. The struggle of this age is between anarchic freedom and authentic freedom.

”We ought to be like lilies in the midst of thorns, which, however they be pricked and pierced, never lose their sweet and gentle fragrance.” - Saint Bernard of Clairvaux: (1090 –1153: Father and Doctor of the Church)

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."

The beatitudes can seem sort of oxymoronic. How will the meek lead? Leadership usually comes to the bold. We see injustice around us every day. How are those who hunger for justice satisfied? Where is the comfort for the mourning?

In a perfect world, people would treat each other decently. A perfect world would be at peace, and justice would prevail. Unfortunately, this world is not perfect. God chose the foolish to shame the wise, the weak to shame the strong, but not everyone understands that. Jesus was born poor, went against the standard norms of the time and the government. Did not seem to have the stuff to be a leader, but he was the greatest leader. And still people did not and do not understand him and his message.

The way to seek the Lord is to seek justice like he did, to seek righteousness like he did, to seek peace like he did. Unfortunately, even he did not get justice and righteousness and peace here on earth. He took the form of the lowly to shame the higher-ups, but they didn’t understand. Many still don’t understand.

We have to seek for justice and righteousness and peace, even if we don’t get it. We need to do the right thing, even if we don’t get what’s right in return.

Those are blessed who show mercy, who seek for justice, who are humble and helpful. Our blessings come from knowing we are acting appropriately and a deep inner peace and yes joy will follow. Even if we suffer for our actions here, our rewards will be great in heaven. And if our recompense is not in this imperfect world, it will be in the next perfect one. 

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