Father Ed's Reflections

Be-attitudes

01 Feb 2017

BE-ATTITUDES

The Sermon on the Mount, as in Matthew 5: 1-12, is well known and has guided Christian living over the ages. To hyphenate the word spells out more clearly the stances or attitudes we are called to practice. In effect, they may be considered as a practical application of the two great commandments, namely to love God above all and our neighbour as ourselves. Let us glance anew at this charter for Christian living.

How blest are the poor in spirit.

Who are blest? Those who know, accept and believe that all they are and all they have comes as a gift from God. God is first; no status, wealth, pride of life supplants God in the believer’s heart. Talents are meant to be used; however, no matter how great they are, a Christian remembers all is gift. This is another way of saying “poor in sprit.”

How blest are those who mourn.

These are the sensitive people who are deeply saddened by all the evil in the world. This causes them great distress. In response to this sorrow they reach out in compassion to all who suffer because of one evil or another: injustice, killings, sickness, poverty and more. Their positive response to their sadness is true compassion for sufferers.

How blest are the gentle.

One hopes we have all encountered gentle people in our lives. They have learnt from Jesus who is gentle and humble in heart. This is a positive gift and is in no sense a weakness. It has a power and strength that defies understanding.

How blest are the just.

These are those who hunger and thirst for justice at every level of society. They are prepared to work and suffer to make justice a reality wherever they discern injustice. The promise of the Beatitude is that eventually they will be satisfied, a gracious gift of God.

How blest are the merciful

A forgiving heart is a treasure yet many struggle with a desire to forgive. If hurt, then have the intention to forgive, pray for that grace; forgiveness is in the will and intention. Emotions may be contrary to the desire to forgive. No need to panic, the will is correct, you are forgiving even if your feelings are running in opposite directions. If you will to forgive, then you are on the right path despite contrary emotions.

How blest are the upright.

This is to do with integrity of life, making a firm decision to remain wholly committed to the Lord and to be a person of absolute integrity in daily living.

How blest are the peacemakers.

All of us love peace. Those who work for peace are called to suffer much in life. Many struggle with inner peace, peace in families, peace in society. Peacemakers are likewise needed on an international level, as all will agree. Peacemakers will be called children of God!

How blest are those who suffer for the Kingdom of God.

They are persons who follow Christ in all circumstances of life. In our world today many Christians live out this Beatitude due to unjust persecution. Courage is needed to live as a Christian in our modern societies.

Blest are the humble.
Blest are the compassionate.
Blest are the gentle.
Blest are the just.
Blest are the upright.
Blest are the peacemakers.
Blest are the courageous.

 

Father Edward Wood, SSS
Blessed Sacrament Congregation,  St. Francis’ Church,
326 Lonsdale St., Melbourne, 3000, Australia.
Tel: (03) 9663 2495  Email: ewood@blessedsacrament.com.au

2014, Re-printed February 2017