Lord, we believe that your care for us is unstoppable. Yet why do we waver when our crosses splinter our bodies? Why do we glibly pronounce the Beatitudes as we find them nearly impossible to live?Let this day be different. If we are to mourn, to know persecution, to treat others with mercy, to feel poverty of spirit then help us to trust that the blessings will come even if the current reality perplexes our senses.
—The Jesuit Prayer TeamPlease share the Good Word with your friends!
The “Spiritual Exercises” of St. Ignatius are the result of his experience and prayer. One of the most important and practical parts of them involves advice for discernment. Today’s readings also give us some good tips for discerning our way through life. Each of us could write our own “sacred history,” the story of God’s presence in our lives and how we have responded. The daily examen or review is a way that we can always reflect on how God is leading us or teaching us through the events and people of our daily lives. This will help us develop the gift of discernment.
Today’s Gospel begins the Sermon on the Mount with Matthew’s version of the Beatitudes. In the “Spiritual Exercises,” St. Ignatius gives the following point about this Scripture passage: “Jesus proposes the eight beatitudes to His beloved disciples: “Blessed are the poor in spirit … the meek … the merciful … they that mourn … they that hunger … the peace-makers … those that suffer persecution.” Jesus says that these choices are the way to happiness, but since God’s ways are not the ways of humanity (see Isaiah 55: 9), the world has a very different idea about happiness. Think for a moment about the opposite of the each of the Beatitudes.
When we pay attention both to how God has been at work in our lives and to the values of the Gospel, we will have some very good rules to discern the movements of our hearts and to follow those that will lead us to our ultimate goal–union with God.
—Fr. James Kubicki, S.J.
Please share the Good Word with your friends!
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. Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted. Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth. Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled. Blessed are the merciful, for they will receive mercy.”
“Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God. Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God. 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.”
New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989, by the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. USCCB approved (http://www.usccb.org/bible/approved-translations/ ).Please share the Good Word with your friends!