Presentation on theme: "* The Beatitudes that Jesus shared on Mount Sinai were intended to direct us along a path where we might not normally find happiness. * Thus, God challenges."— Presentation transcript:
* The Beatitudes that Jesus shared on Mount Sinai were intended to direct us along a path where we might not normally find happiness. * Thus, God challenges us to take the metaphorical road less travelled despite all difficulty. By following these Beatitudes, we create a life rooted in God’s love. * The actual word “beatitude” comes from the Greek work for “blessed” or “promise of true happiness”.
* Virtues are basically attitudes and habits that make us likely to do what is good even when we don’t stop to think about our actions. * Becoming a virtuous person requires practice, prayer, and regular use of the Ten Commandments and The Eight Beatitudes. * The Beatitudes are sort of like the Ten Commandments. They are both stepping stones on the path to the kingdom of heaven.
* Jesus liked to teach in a way that forced people to look at things, at life, differently. The Beatitudes force us to do this…
* Why do you think there is so much pressure to have money and material items? * If your family were to lose everything, how would your happiness be affected? * Matthew 5:3 says, “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of Heaven.” * What does POOR IN SPIRIT mean?
* Jesus is talking about a person’s HEART. He is saying that the truly blessed person is one who realizes that his/her heart is broken, hungry, and “poor” without Christ. * People who depend on wealth/power/fame/intelligences or their appearance have gone down the wrong path to seeking true happiness in God. * The “poor in spirit” can admit to weakness, their need for God, and they use their strengths to further the lives of others. They put Good first!
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* If Jesus considered being poor such a blessing, why do you think so many people try to use money to buy happiness? Explain. * Who has more wealth: a rich man who doesn’t think he needs God, or a poor man who recognizes his need for God? Explain. The bottom line: when we recognize we are spiritually poor without Jesus, we can inherit the riches of eternal life!
* What does the word “mourn” mean? When do we often use that word? * What are three things that make you sad or mournful? Why do these things make you feel that way? * What do you think Jesus meant, when he said that tears, sorrow, and mourning were to be part of the Christian life?
* Just like in the first Beatitude, we are not talking about physical mourning (like when someone is sick or has died), but “mourning in the heart.” * Sin causes God to mourn, and when we mourn over the sins in our lives and in the world, God comforts and blesses us. * “Those who mourn” refers to people who willingly join in and take on the suffering of others. * We can mourn for others who are afflicted, oppressed, or in need, by listening, consoling, or showing compassion and sympathy (understanding the positions of others).
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* What are some “sins of the world” that we should mourn? * When we mourn, or repent for our sins, how do you think that blesses us and comforts us? Bottom Line: When we recognize, mourn, and repent of the sin in our lives, Jesus will bless and comfort us.
* What does it mean to be meek? * What are some characteristics of the meek? * It may seem that whoever is the loudest, pushiest, or most successful is in charge, but is this what Jesus means? Explain.
* “The meek” refer to people who are kind and humble, and those who do not think they are better than others. * They understand that we are all made in God’s image and are all deserving of love and respect. * Through gentleness and love, Christ commands the world. And if we show gentleness and love, we will be with Christ to inherit the earth.
* She was an African-American woman who lived during the 1950’s, at time when racism was common and accepted. While riding the bus to work, she quietly refused to give seat up to a white man (this was the expectation during this time and this act would be considered brave yet unacceptable).
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* Which is easier: to be meek, or not to be meek? Why? * Which is more rewarding in the eyes of the world? In the eyes of God? Bottom Line: If we follow Christ’s model of being meek, he will give us eternal rewards.
* How would you define justice or righteousness? * What do you think Christ means when he challenges us to hunger and thirst for it? Why does he want us to hunger and thirst for it?
* Those who “hunger and thirst for righteousness” are those who seek justice and God. * They have the courage to stand up for what is right, even when it is unpopular or goes against societal norms (societal views or beliefs). * By working for justice and growing in our faith, we are filled spiritually.
* He was an intelligent man who used words and ideas to fight racism, rather than using physical to seek justice.
* Why is it difficult to seek God? * Are there things we try to fill ourselves up with besides God? What are some of these things. * Will these things every truly satisfy us? Bottom Line: If we strive to grow in faith and seek justice, God will fill us, and we will have fewer “cravings” for earthly things.
* What is mercy? * In what ways can we be merciful to others?
* “The merciful” refer to those who show compassion and understanding to those who have hurt them or have caused them pain. * They forgive, don’t hold grudges, and love everyone, just as Jesus did throughout his life. * When we do these things, God shows mercy to us!
* mhU mhU * He forgave the man who tried to shoot and kill him. Once the Pope had recovered from his wounds, he went to see the man in prison who had tried to kill him. There, he spoke with the man and forgave him.
* Why is it sometimes difficult to be merciful? * Why does Christ think it is so important to be merciful? Bottom Line: When we show mercy to others, Jesus shows mercy to us.
* What do you think about when you hear the word “pure”? Make a list. * How can our hearts be pure, and how can we “see” with our hearts?
* The more “stuff” we have in our hearts, the more our relationship with God is clouded. * Things are blocking our view of God because our hearts are not pure, or clean. * If our hearts are not pure, then our actions are not pure, but if our hearts are filled with God, there isn’t room for anything else! * Those who are “pure of heart” are able to see past a person’s age, colour, power, fame, wealth, and popularity. Because their hearts are filled with God, they see the presence of God in every person they meet.
* Mandela was a falsely imprisoned for 27 years because of his beliefs. He opposed racial segregation. Rather than being angry, he was forgiving and he always tried to see God in everyone. He fought for equal rights amongst all of Mankind.
* What are you holding in your heart that is keeping it from being pure, and filled by God? * What can you do to have a pure heart? Bottom Line: When we strive to keep our hearts pure, there is more room for God, and our relationship with him. This also means that we can see God in those around us.
* What is a peacemaker? * Brainstorm all the peacemakers that we can think of in our society….. * Why would Jesus think that peace is so important?
* The peacemakers” refer to those who heal broken relationships. * Everything is done for the common good and without the expectation of receiving recognition. * By imitating God’s love of man, the peacekeepers become children of God. He inspired the world with his faith in truth and justice for all Mankind. He was a great soul who loved even those who fought against his ideals to bring about peace with non- violence.
* How can you work towards peace in your own life? Bottom Line: God calls us to be peacemakers. We need to strive towards peace in the world, and in our lives every day.
* How much pressure is there on you to fit in? * Have you ever done anything you regret in order to fit in with the crowd? * How are Christians persecuted today?
* Those who are “persecuted for the sake of righteousness” undergo criticism because of their convictions (beliefs). * Though others may abandon us or turn our backs on us, God never will. * Christians should expect challenges and opposition to their faith. * We must choose to please God instead of choosing to please people – and this will bring persecution.
Saint Cecilia Joan of Arc St. Sebastian St. Francis Xavier
* Is it fair to say all Christians should expect some persecution? * Would you agree that it is our fear of this persecution that sometimes makes us act in ways that we are uncomfortable with? * What are some of the rewards or blessings we receive when we are persecuted for our beliefs? Bottom Line: We should expect persecution as Christians, but we can look forward to God’s blessing as a result.