In this week’s Gospel…we read the beautiful Beatitudes…a favorite of mine. I have had a copy of the Beatitudes often on my desk, or behind my computer, or posted in my journal…it is often used as my cue for me to ‘push the pause button’; to stop and contemplate my own blessings in life, to reflect if I am aligned with my values, my purpose and my direction in life; and it is a time for me to re-evaluate. The word Blessed gives me pause, what is its meaning and how do I interpret the word? Blessing is a positive word, a fulfilling word, a loving word, a caring word and its interpretation in the Beatitudes is reflective of that. In a reading that explains the Beatitudes it states Blessed is “an inner joy and peace that comes with being right with God”. I find peace in that interpretation.
Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of God. The poor in spirit can be defined as those who are dependent on God. A daily struggle for me…but a wonderful reminder that dependence so important in our relationship with God and others. Dependence is a theme throughout the Beatitudes.
Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted. For those who mourn it is mourning of the sadness from loss but also the sin itself, ultimately the comfort offered by our dependence on God gives us hope, hope for an understanding, a resolution, a return to a new normal. I pray to always be hopeful.
Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth. The meek are described as gentle in spirit, free of malice and those who are recipients of the fruit of the Spirit. This is so divine and in our daily lives individualism and independence prevail which pushes us toward self-centeredness, abuses of power and a self-righteousness. I try hard in my personal and professional life to NOT come from a center of power but a relational center. Meekness is a beautiful characteristic. I need to work on this.
Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for the righteousness, for they shall be filled. Hunger and thirst can be described as a passion for righteousness to view the social injustice around our lives as unacceptable and then to do something, anything to change and make a difference. My family, my colleagues at work, my neighbors show me through their actions how to do this better, they increase my awareness, they remind me to give more and to pay it forward. Please keep reminding me.
Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy. Life involves forgiveness…I must forgive others for what they have done against me and I must be forgiven for what I have done to others. To do this again means dependence on God who has forgiven me for my sins. Mercy is powerful……If I use power let it be the power of mercy.
Blessed are the pure in heart for they will see God. Pure in heart gives a vision of love for God, spiritual growth, growing in faith with God. A journey I am on and will continue.
Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called the Sons of God. I would like to say the Sons and Daughters of God. I can now look back at our Saints, our current Sisters in community, our Priests, the protectors of our nations and see those who devote their life to peacemaking. I hold myself accountable for peace in my family, my work community, my neighborhood and with all those who I have daily interaction. I will continue to pray daily for a peace.
Blessed are those who are persecuted for the sake of justice for theirs is the Kingdom of Heaven.
Words to describe my feelings for those who have suffered and been persecuted for their faith. Admiration, respect, reverence, esteem, regard, awe, wonder, amazement, marvel, honor, decency, integrity………I am humbled.
Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of even against you because of me. Although the message was for the Disciples…I thank God for them, their work, my belief and my dependence.
By Cindy Constanzo