Ordinary Time, 4th Sunday (A) Jesus is the new Moses, teaching the new law to the new Israel. He starts his teaching with happiness. What does it take to be happy? The word for "blessed" here in Greek is "makarioi", a happiness that comes from abundance. I look at all the blessings that God has given me and I feel happy; I am makarios.
Paradoxically, the first thing that makes me happy is being "poor in spirit". When I feel like a beggar, I can have confidence that God will fill my neediness with abundant blessing. The experience of hungering, mourning, and being persecuted is not pleasant, but we can be happy because we are confident that God will fill us and comfort us.
The next four beatitudes are things that I can develop: meek, merciful, clean of heart, and peacemakers. They are the fruit of a life lived with Jesus. When we look at Jesus on the cross we realize that the Beatitudes describe Him perfectly. When our life fits the beatitudes, we should rejoice, for we are where we are supposed to be and living the life we were meant to live.
(29 Jan 2023)
Going Deeper: Spend some time pondering the Beatitudes in front of a crucifix. Did I experience a "Beatitude moment" this past week, a moment when one of the Beatitudes described me and my life? How did I respond to that experience?