Reading: Matthew 5: 1-12
The Beatitudes are a wonderful teaching that Jesus shared with His followers. The list of “blessed are…” statements offer hope and encouragement, promise and strength. Jesus is proclaiming the work of God in the current time and place as well as pointing to the future glory that faithful followers will inherit. Rather that a “to-do” list or requirements to check off, Jesus lists these blessings as a way to cast vision for what the kingdom on earth will look like when we live out these blessings every day.
We are blessed. We are blessed when we are poor in spirit because when we are ‘poor’ in something we work to get more of it. We are blessed when we search for righteousness because God wants to fill us up. We are blessed when we are pure in heart because then we are in a connected, personal relationship with God. We are blessed when we are humble and merciful and when we seek peace because then we are bearing witness to the love and example of Jesus. When we mourn, we are blessed with God’s comfort. And when we are persecuted and insulted, we are blessed not only because of what we will inherit, but for being the light and truth of Jesus Christ amidst the darkness of the world.
The Beatitudes are part of Jesus’ vision of what the kingdom here on earth will look like. The blessings of living a life in Christ are not protection against all harms and trials, but are the blessings of His presence in all of life. When we live as witness to all of these ‘blessed are…’ statements, we are blessings to all we meet as we live as faithful disciples of the Savior of the world. May it be how we live each day.