Presentation on theme: "The Beatitudes A Summary (Dcn D. McManaman). The Beatitudes Each beatitude begins with Makarios ("Blessed are..."), which is a blessedness or happiness."— Presentation transcript:
The Beatitudes A Summary (Dcn D. McManaman)
The Beatitudes Each beatitude begins with Makarios ("Blessed are..."), which is a blessedness or happiness that is sufficient unto itself, complete, and is the first taste of life eternal. As a whole, the beatitudes describe the spirit of the one who lives in the Person of Christ.
1. "Blessed are the Poor in Spirit; the kingdom of heaven is theirs" This means blessed are those who are aware of their radical need for God. A person who is poor knows his poverty, is aware of his indigence. Spiritual poverty is the beginning of the spiritual life. Only those who know their need for God will call out to him, and if we call out to him, he will hear us and draw close to us.
2. “Blessed are those who mourn; for they shall be comforted" If we truly love someone, we will suffer when they suffer. Imagine if your own mother told you she was mugged and beaten. You would feel great sorrow if you love her. In the same way, the more we love God, the more we mourn the sins of the world. We mourn the fact that God is loved so little.
3. Blessed are the meek; for they shall inherit the earth A meek person is not quick to get angry. He is self-possessed, in control of his emotions, especially anger. A meek person is gentle. Meekness, however, does not mean never becoming angry. Recall that Jesus became angry at the money changers in the temple and drove them out.
4. Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for what is right, they shall be satisfied The hunger and thirst of a first century Palestinian is very different than what we are used to in the 20 th century. They experienced the heat of the desert, and a first century laborer might go hungry if he went a day without work. In other words, they likely knew hunger pangs and desert thirst, unlike most of us. Christ is saying blessed are those who thirst for justice as would a first century Palestinian would thirst for water in the desert, or who hunger for justice as would one suffering from hunger pangs.
5. Blessed are the merciful; they will be shown mercy Christ revealed God as absolute mercy. He came to die for us and cancel the debt of sin, which we were unable to pay. The Latin word for mercy is misericordia (miser, cor, dia). The word means “the heart (cor) of God (deus) touching our misery (miser). God enters into our misery by becoming man in the Person of Christ. We are obligated to be merciful to others, to concern ourselves with their suffering, since mercy was shown to us in him.
6. Blessed are the pure in heart, they shall see God Something is pure if it is unmixed. For example, pure maple syrup is unmixed with anything else. To be pure in heart is to have an undivided love for God. Some people love creation more than the creator. They love things; they worship things, wealth, the pleasures of the earth, etc. God calls us to love him more than the things he creates. If we do, we shall see him as he is in himself (heaven is the Beatific Vision).
7. Blessed are the peacemakers; they shall be called the children of God The Latin word for peace is ‘pax’. Pax means unity. A peacemaker is one who strives to bring together, to maintain harmony among people. A peacemaker is not a “peacenik”. A peacemaker is not a “peace-lover”. Rather, he is one who is willing to ‘make’ peace, to work for it, even to fight for it if that is necessary. A true peacemaker is even willing to take up arms and fight, perhaps die for peace (pax, the unity of the people), like our war veterans. Gossipers are those who are not peacemakers, but love scandal and love to see and bring about division.
8. Blessed are those who are persecuted for the sake of what is right; for theirs is the kingdom of heaven If you belong to Christ, you will be persecuted. You will have great joy, but you will suffer persecution and rejection to some extent. Christ suffered rejection, so will his followers. But that is the test. How much do you love God? How much do you love what is right? Do you love God, truth, justice, etc., more than you love yourself? Do you love Christ more than you love yourself? Blessed are you if you do, the kingdom of heaven is yours.