“Blessed are the poor in spirit for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.” Having no money is not an automatic “in” to heaven Being rich is not an automatic ticket to hell He wants us to see all forms of poverty and helplessness as a symbol of our total dependence before God. We are all in absolute poverty before God
Blessed are they who mourn for they will be comforted. If God is our total concern Our heart must weep for the insults thrown into God’s face by injustice in the world. Those who mourn over the evils that beset us all because of sin.
Blessed are the meek for they will inherit the land. The biblical meaning of meek is unassuming and tolerant. Matthew 12:20 The meek can restrain their anger; they can be tolerant. They are not lordly, overbearing or haughty. They are not wimps, or spiritless or overly submissive. Yet they will go the extra mile, turn the other cheek The meek are gentle but firm of faith, peaceable but uncompromising.
Blessed are they who hunger and thirst for righteousness for they will be satisfied. If you are poor in spirit --in touch with your inner poverty and finiteness--you need something to fill you. You are hungry for the food of God! You want “justice”, a good relationship with God, you want God’s will to be done for all. This justice is that for which we hunger and this spiritual hunger is as all consuming as the need for material food.
Blessed are the merciful for they will be shown mercy. If God cleanses our hearts we must then know what it means to feel mercy. Forgiving others should be no big deal if we have tasted God’s love and forgiveness. If we can rise above our own pain and go into the suffering heart of another --even someone who continues to hurt us— we know the compassion of the Father. We enter into the compassion of Jesus, who could say, “Father, forgive them, they know not what they do” (Luke 23:34)
Blessed are the clean of heart for they will see God. We have all known people who leave a pleasant atmosphere behind them and others a trail of depressing cynicism. A clean person is open to God--ready to be filled with God’s presence! The clean of heart without reserve express the purity of their heart. It includes the idea of single-heartedness and purity of intention of motivation unclouded by selfish aims. “Clean of heart” refers to the purity and integrity of the whole person.
Blessed are the peacemakers for they will be called children of God. Jesus didn’t leave us a formula for making peace. Peacemaking comes more easily for the poor in spirit--who can see the beauty of reconciliation--than for the proud-hearted, who only see the need to avenge their hurts. When Jesus greeted others with “Shalom!” He meant total well-being. It’s not just health of body, but health of mind and heart. All who seek healing as a way of life are dispensers of “Shalom.”
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. Jesus said the result of his coming would not be peace, but division, even within families Courageous people of all ages suffer ridicule simply for being chaste or standing up for justice and equality and the values of Christ many in the world do not accept Congratulations! You Are Blessed.
CORPORAL WORKS OF MERCY • Feed the hungry - We are called not only to feed but to contribute in formation of legislation to prevent hunger in the world • Give drink to the thirsty - We are called to give water but also to actively protect the worlds water supply and prevent waste • Clothe the naked -The poor are increasing in number. We are called not only to lift them up but to control our own debt. • Shelter the homeless - Assist in finding homes for all who are without by shaping the social policies of our nation and the world.
CORPORAL WORKS OF MERCY • Visit the sick - Visit the sick but step beyond the visit to protect the terminally ill and the defenseless. • Visit the imprisoned - Ransom the captive not simply those imprisoned due to crime but the victims of age, handicap, latch-key and unemployment. • Bury the dead - Show true Christian community in not only attending funerals but in helping the living to mourn. Aid in decreasing the cost of burial.
SPIRITUAL WORKS OF MERCY • Instruct the Ignorant - Become a teacher, instruct others in spirituality and craft • Counsel the Doubtful - Bear witness to confidence in Christ throughout your day-to-day life • Admonish the Sinner - We have a social responsibility to reject and name sin • Bear wrongs patiently - Suffering has potential for spiritual growth bear it with patience and dignity
SPIRITUAL WORKS OF MERCY • Forgive offenses - Healing travels astride forgiveness. One can not occur without the other • Comfort the Afflicted -We must walk with others in their pain giving hope through our presence • Pray for the living and the Dead - We must daily lift up to God the needs and concerns of others