When Jesus saw the crowds, He went up the mountain. He sat down and his disciples gathered around him. Then he spoke and began to teach them: «Fortunate are those who are poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Fortunate are those who mourn, they shall be comforted. Fortunate are the gentle, they shall possess the land. Fortunate are those who hunger and thirst for justice, for they shall be satisfied. Fortunate are the merciful, for they shall find mercy. Fortunate are those with a pure heart, for they shall see God. Fortunate are those who work for peace, they shall be called children of God. Fortunate are those who are persecuted for the cause of justice, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Fortunate are you, when people insult you and persecute you and speak all kinds of evil against you because you are my followers. Be glad and joyful, for a great reward is kept for you in God. This is how this people persecuted the prophets who lived before you».
Yesterday we were having our bishop with us and had the pleasuring of listening to him. In one of our dialogue he was telling, that many of us think that the present church is living in a difficult time and the past was glorious. The truth is that the church was always persecuted and the in this church there were some exceptionally wonderful people who were witnessing the faith in an extraordinary way. What we live today is not desolation or desperation, rather what is called to live, particularly with hope and joy.
While remembering Barnabas, one of the apostles of the Lord, we remember their courage and joy of dying for Christ. Though they had a very tough time, there were essentially a happy people. People those who met them, even in their imprisonment, were recharged with new and forced energy. If we look behind the secret of this inner joy, we will find very easily that their life was fully configured in Christ and they felt even in their persecution, the Christ joyful and glorious. They remembered the Cross, but with hope of resurrection and the joy of being just before God.
Thus for us today, if we wish to be happy, the secret is, that we learn to configure our life in Christ and allow the Holy Spirit to guide and animate our life. By consequence, just like Paul, we too can say with certitude, it’s no more I who life, but the Christ lives in me. Have a wonderful day.
«Fortunate are those who are poor in spirit»
Fr. Àngel CALDAS i Bosch
(Salt, Girona, Spain)
Today, with the proclamation of the Beatitudes, Jesus helps us realize how forgetful we can be and how we tend to be like children, who usually forget their memories because of their plays. Jesus feared that the amount of his “good news” —his words, his gestures, his silences— would be diluted amidst our sins and worries. In the parable of the sower, do you remember the image of the thorns that sprang up with his seeds, and choked them? Well, this is why St. Mathew run the Beatitudes as fundamental principles, so that we do not never ever forget them. They are a compendium of the New Law presented by Jesus, basic points which help us living a Christian life.
The Beatitudes are intended for everybody. The Master is not only teaching his disciples around him, nor does He exclude any kind of persons, but He delivers a Universal message. However, He emphasizes the disposition we must have and the moral behaviour He expects from us. While the definite salvation is not given in this world, but in the next, we must change, right now, while we are here, our mentality and our evaluation of things. It is necessary we get used to see the crying face of Christ, in those who mourn, in those poor of spirit, in the meek at heart, in those who yearn to become saints, in those who have taken a “determined determination”, as St. Therese of the Child Jesus liked to say, so that we can become Sowers of Peace and Joy.
The Beatitudes are the Lord's perfume participated in human history. But, also in yours and mine. The last two verses incorporate the presence of the Cross, as they invite us to rejoice when, because of him and of the Gospel, things go humanly wrong. For when the coherence of our Christian life is strong, we will then, most probably suffer persecution in a thousand different ways, amid unexpected difficulties and setbacks. St. Matthew's text is emphatic: so «Be glad and joyful, for a great reward is kept for you in God» (Mt 5,12).