When Jesus saw the crowds, he went up the mountain; and after he sat down, his disciples came to him. Then he began to speak, and taught them, saying:
Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
What does Jesus mean by poor in spirit? Does He mean simple-minded people? People who are not so learned about theology, religion, doctrines and teachings of the Church? People who do their best to get along in life; and pray and love God within the limitations of their capabilities? Do I know someone like that? Do I pray for them?
Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted.
We have all had reason to mourn in our lives. We miss loved ones. When we miss someone it means that their absence has had a positive input in our lives; in our presence. Let us make sure we miss the people and not the good times and experiences we have had in our lives.
Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth.
Only if the greedy grabbing lot will let them inherit anything! These days, it seems, everyone is intent on looking after Number One first. It's all "Me ... Me ... Me ..." Am I one of those selfish people who cannot see poor Lazarus on my doorstep? Or that shy colleague at work? Or anyone else needing help but is too embarrassed to ask?
Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled.
Righteousness? What is that? Surely what is right in my eyes would be wrong in someone else's point of view. And I'm always right after all! There are so many people doing bad things in the world today. Wrong things. Thankfully, I am not one of them!
Blessed are the merciful, for they will receive mercy.
Are we always merciful? Do we really forgive the wrongs done to us? Or do we bear a grudge and look forwards to revenge, retribution and just punishment when the time is right? Does the wrong done to us gnaw within our hearts to the point that it is like drinking poison and hoping the other person will be harmed?
Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God.
Pure of heart? What is that? Surely we all have some dark, or evil, or naughty thoughts and perhaps actions in our hearts! Lusting for someone or something. Envy. Greed. Jealousy. These are all natural emotions. Surely Jesus does not mean me specifically about this!
Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God.
"I said peacemakers ... not cheese makers. Pay attention!" When there is a family argument, or some disagreement amongst friends or colleagues at work; do I immediately take sides? Do I think and weigh matters carefully before deciding on my position? Do I try to bring both sides closer together? Or do I act like a wedge between them separating both sides further apart?
Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
Blessed are you when people revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account. Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.
There are many people in the world today persecuted and killed for just being Christian. Are they in my prayers and in my mind? Or are they too far away from my comfortable home for me to care?
There are many people standing up for righteousness. Speaking up for unfairness, injustice, poverty, evils and other wrongs in society. Where am I in this debate? I may not be able to stand up and join them physically but how do my daily actions compare with my beliefs? Is my behaviour one that God would be proud of?