From the Pastoral Team
Today’s Gospel is the beginning of Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount. This is one of the most famous passages in the Bible. Known as “The Beatitudes,” these statements define for us what it means to be a follower of Christ. We are all familiar with these sayings, as we have heard them since we were children. They can be found on posters, serve as the lyrics of songs, and have been quoted in speeches and movies. However, the Beatitudes are so familiar to us today, we sometimes forget how truly revolutionary they are and how unusual they would have been to people in Jesus’s time. Even today, these are not things that society tells us we should desire.
No one wants to be poor. No one wants to mourn because that means you have experienced a loss. No one wants to be meek but rather wants to be bold and in control. No one wants to hunger for righteousness because that means that something unfair or unjust has occurred. Society tells us not to be merciful; rather we are told that we should seek revenge on those who wrong us and try to win at all costs. Instead of telling us to be clean of heart, society tells us to give into our desires and do whatever feels good. Instead of becoming peacemakers, society encourages division and hatred towards those who disagree with us. Instead of embracing persecution, society tells us to avoid anything that will cause us difficulty or strife.
Yet when we truly look at these things, we find they are the hallmark of what we would consider the ideal Christian. We are called to be poor, but not in terms of possessions. Instead, being poor in spirit means recognizing that everything we have comes from God and we can do nothing without His help. We mourn when losses happen, but we are called to understand that it is only through those losses that we can grow as people and in our relationship with God. We are called to fight for what is right because we recognize that we are living in a flawed world and there will always be things that can be improved and changed. We are called to be merciful because we are called to imitate Christ and the mercy we receive from Him. We are called to be clean of heart because, in doing this, we are setting aside our own wants and desires and turning to God’s will. We are called to be peacemakers because, in so doing, we show God’s love to those around us. Lastly, we are called to accept persecution because, again, we are called to imitate Christ who in His time was persecuted by those in power, even to the point of death. Therefore, by embracing the Beatitudes, Therefore, by embracing the Beatitudes, we embrace what it means to be a follower of Christ.
St. Peter Catholic Church, Mt. Clemens, MI.
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