Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Blessed Are You

 Now during those days he went out to the mountain to pray; and he spent the night in prayer to God. And when day came, he called his disciples and chose twelve of them, whom he also named apostles: Simon, whom he named Peter, and his brother Andrew, and James, and John, and Philip, and Bartholomew, and Matthew, and Thomas, and James son of Alphaeus, and Simon, who was called the Zealot, and Judas son of James, and Judas Iscariot, who became a traitor.
 He came down with them and stood on a level place, with a great crowd of his disciples and a great multitude of people from all Judea, Jerusalem, and the coast of Tyre and Sidon. They had come to hear him and to be healed of their diseases; and those who were troubled with unclean spirits were cured. And all in the crowd were trying to touch him, for power came out from him and healed all of them.
 Then he looked up at his disciples and said:
‘Blessed are you who are poor,
   for yours is the kingdom of God.
‘Blessed are you who are hungry now,
   for you will be filled.
‘Blessed are you who weep now,
   for you will laugh.

 ‘Blessed are you when people hate you, and when they exclude you, revile you, and defame you on account of the Son of Man. Rejoice on that day and leap for joy, for surely your reward is great in heaven; for that is what their ancestors did to the prophets.
‘But woe to you who are rich,
   for you have received your consolation.
‘Woe to you who are full now,
   for you will be hungry.
‘Woe to you who are laughing now,
   for you will mourn and weep.

 ‘Woe to you when all speak well of you, for that is what their ancestors did to the false prophets.  Luke 6:12-26

My Dad loved the sermon on the mount and particularly when blessed was more correctly translated as happy. Happy are you. He understood that being touched by God was more than just some beatific martyrdom, but rather a life of joy and celebration. Despite everything we face, he believed, we could be happy. And he was happiest by the ocean, sitting in a lawn chair, surveying his mown lawn and visiting with the neighbors. He did demonstrate how to live a happy life and see blessing in the simplest of things.

Jesus, in our Gospel, is teaching the people. They need to know that they are beloved, good and wanted by God. These words have inspired so many over the generations, it is sometimes hard to really sort them out well. In my life, these words, which we call the beatitudes, remind me that despite the circumstances, in everything, in every trial, God loves us and is giving us possibility where we see none. God is not punishing us in our pain and sorrow, but rather, standing with us at all times.

Today I ask God to help me live a blessed, a happy life. May we be reminded in every trial and challenge that God is with us and we are truly blessed.

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