June 10, 2013

The Gospel Today 

Monday of the Tenth Week in Ordinary Time 

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.”

Reflection (Sem. Ernesto Sican):

“Blessed or Blessing” is used in various expressions. It would mean “God bless you”, “May the Lord bless you” or “May the almighty God come upon you”. What is a blessed life? It is not a troubled free life. It is a life where there is peace amidst the storms, troubles, struggles, sacrifices and sufferings. We are blessed not because of our own doing but because of Jesus Christ who is the source of all blessings.

The way to blessedness is the way of the Beatitudes, the way of love. John Michael Talbot describes it as a way “where we find wealth in poverty, deeper joy in sorrow, glory in meekness, wholeness in righteous holiness, justice in mercy, clarity in purity of heart, equality in peacemaking, and final victory even in persecution.”  This seems to run counter to our present culture where the tendency is to accumulate more, to seek for fame, to be number one, to be ahead of the rest at whatever cost. However, we are reminded that the quest for these things will not quench our desire but all the more push us to want for more and be dissatisfied at the end. The ways of the world cannot fill in the emptiness of the heart. Only Jesus can satisfy the longings of our hearts.

The Beatitudes teaches us the various ways to have a blessed life. This is difficult because it contradicts our natural tendency to be self-centered. It calls us to a radical way of relating to other people. It calls us to a radical change of attitude, a change of perspective at looking at things so that we will be attuned to the ways of the Kingdom of God. As children of God, it shows us how we should behave towards one another.

The challenge of the Beatitudes is for all of us. It does not mean that those who have less in life are favored than those who have much.  The Beatitudes refers to the spiritual good rather than material possessions. So even if you are materially rich, you can still be spiritually poor and you will still be blessed. It is in our disposition, our attitude towards what we have. No matter what our personal circumstance is, the Beatitudes is inviting us to the deep happiness  which can be experienced by following the teachings of Christ. b(255, 255, 255); display: inline !important; float: none;”>and was obedient to them; and his mother kept all these things in her heart.

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