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.
When I read this passage, all I can think about is Christ the Teacher. A key principle for me of embracing this passage is “blessedness” and as an Irish-Catholic, finding the blessed can always be a challenge.
My wife and I have just completed three months of online teaching with our 11-year-old daughter and 9-year-old son. Our daughter was diagnosed on the autism spectrum when she was 3. As the spectrum goes, she would be defined as “high functioning”. She is verbal, cute, and bubbly but, at this point, social interaction will never be her thing.
Reading this passage allows me to stop and contemplate my own blessings in life, how I am leading my life, my purpose, and what direction God is leading me.
Challenges aside, what a blessing to have spent the last three months walking with our daughter through her classes, how she learns, the way she learns, her struggles and her strengths.
Have you encountered anything similar over the last few months?
Blessing is a positive and affirming word; it is fulfilling, loving, and caring. As you read this passage, pay attention to the final phrase: Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven.
What is more blessed than that?
—Dan O’Brien is a graduate of Loyola Academy and John Carroll University. He has worked for the Jesuits for 20 years and currently serves as a Regional Advancement Director for the Midwest Jesuits based in Milwaukee, WI.
Good and gracious God, you have blessed us in ways big and small. As we look back over the past day, week, or month, help us to see the ways you have been present and moving in our lives, even in the midst of trials. May we strive to work for a more loving and just world, and seek to be blessings for others. Amen.
—The Jesuit Prayer teamPlease share the Good Word with your friends!