Blessed are you…
Most Christians are familiar with the Beatitudes. They appear in the Gospels of St. Matthew and St. Luke, with each conveying the beatitudes with slightly different words and phrases, which has led some scripture scholars to suggest this was such a monumental teaching that Jesus offered them on two different occasions to two different audiences, allowing this teaching to be heard by many and begin to spread among his disciples.
The beatitudes are read throughout the liturgical year and are often the Gospel reading at a Funeral Mass, as a fitting reminder of how we are all meant to live our Christian lives so that when we breathe our last we can be commended by the Lord for having lived the beatitudes, embraced the blessings they brought in this life and know the reward they bring in the Kingdom which is to come.
We may know the Beatitudes by heart but see them more as suggestions on how to be a Christian and not fundamental teachings that we are obliged to live. They are not easy teachings. Notably the call to be happy and feel blessed when persecution of our faith arises and we are reviled for being a Catholic. Simply put, living the beatitudes is hard but that is what makes them so important, as they compel us to ask God for a greater outpouring of grace to live these teachings well and discover the blessings they promise but are not always readily evident.
Let us each take time this week to read the Beatitudes once again and consider how I am living them at this time.