A word from Fr. Bob
Dear Church Family,
This gospel passage (Matt 5:1-12a) of The Beatitudes are Sacred Attitudes of more than good living, more than even gospel values in a way all centered on love, inner strength, caring, outreach and service to others. All this is encapsulated (gathered together) in these eight little statements. I am going to give you a little reflection on them.
“How blessed are the poor in spirit, the reign of God is theirs.” To me, poverty of spirit means putting Jesus first and without Jesus, I am nothing. I can’t even begin to function if I don’t believe. It is the salt of the earth and it’s only by God’s spirit that I am what I am. Start off with always knowing that without the Lord, you are nothing.
“Blessed are the sorrowing, they shall be consoled.” There is so much sorrow in life. We stand with many; we go through it ourselves; and others stand with us. What a wonderful gospel value it is to have empathy and compassion. When you try to stand in another person’s moccasins, then you are exercising this great humble value.
“Blessed are the lowly, they shall inherit the land.” Sometimes that means ‘meek’ when translated. Again, it emphasizes humility and how we need God just to make it. The prophet Malachi really says it today, “to walk, to know the right, to live justly and to walk humbly with your God.”
“Blessed are they that hunger and thirst for holiness, they shall have their fill.” How important is the value to really hunger and thirst like one without any water or food and searching out some value? I was talking to a friend of mine who is homeless and had nothing to eat all day. You could just see the need for nourishment. If we hunger for holiness for putting Jesus first, we are on the road to fulfillment.
“Blessed are they that show mercy, for mercy shall be theirs.” Mercy is love, kindness, concern, and generosity. It is every value of hospitality that allows us to be so interested in others that we are always willing to say, “yes” and help in some way. It’s just in our DNA, putting mercy first.
“Blessed are the single hearted, for they shall see God.” Single-heartedness sometimes is translated, ‘pure of heart, without guile.’ How wonderful it is to witness a person in your life who just doesn’t want to see anything negative in people’s personality. They Always want to see the best and encourage it. They don’t have any hidden agendas. They just want to love totally.
“Blessed are the peacemakers, they shall be called sons and daughters of God.” How wonderful it is to be a person of peace, not to be riled up over every little thing, but to have a passion for people living in harmony starting with one’s own self, family, neighborhood, community, our city, our state, our country and even the world. Peace making is so important. I listened the other day to KMOX talking about a “greed factor” that many of the Congress people were in to. During the time of the Spanish-America War, at the turn of the century and how they felt we needed more territory. There was sort of a greedy attitude. Now, our United States is built on letting people govern themselves and many had that attitude and still we all want more.
“Blessed are those who are persecuted for justice’s sake, the reign of God is theirs.” Ferguson challenges us to seek justice. Ferguson challenges everyone to have more of the American Pie. So, that everybody becomes equal and it is a better society because everybody is blessed.
So, finally “blessed are you when they insult you and persecute you and utter every kind of slander against you because of God,” and they will do that. “But, be glad and rejoice for your reward is great in heaven.” They persecuted the prophets before you in the very same way. Alleluia!
Love, Fr. Bob