To make sense of how they might fit into our life I use three perspectives.
- Internal Reflection
- External Relationships
- The greatest challenge
Blessed are the Poor in Spirit, for theirs is the Kingdom of Heaven..
- Life requires us to develop a sound ego, personal confidence, with an emphasis on the sound.
- One also needs to always be mindful that a realistic approach to life is to know ones weaknesses.
- We both want God and need God. Such are the poor in spirit.
Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness sake…
- Again life has a balance between an intentional life, where we pursue our dreams and responsibilities.
- But such a journey is shaped by our will.
- Our will reflects our values that are to be godly values.
- Rather than drift we need a determination, a hunger and thirst to fulfil those values.
Blessed are those who mourn for they will be comforted...
- I could have placed this beatitude in the first group, but mourning is really about our connection with the world around. Mourning arises out of our break from the world around us.
- To mourn one must initially love. And that is life’s primary purpose. But love has many flavours to it and can easily be self serving.
- So to grow in love life, takes us through a transforming journey. We embrace things but must never possess them. So life has this way of both giving and taking from us, and its hurts. But when we learn to let go healthily we find a deeper quality of life that can emerge. Our love is refined.
Blessed are the Meek for they shall inherit the earth…
- Meekness is not a word we use, but if it’s to reflect the life and teachings of Jesus then it is not suggesting a lack of personal worth where one is run over and put down regularly by others.
- The opposite would be equally wrong. The overpowering of others.
- Meekness speaks of a quality that enables one to maintain ones’ personal values with integrity and respect others value.
- It eliminates the power struggle so often typical of relationships
Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God…
- One trick in relationships is that we are easily shaped by our own needs, and pursue our own agenda.
- There is nothing wrong with our personal needs, for they are the gift of life, yet the path to maturity encourages us to know them and deal with them in healthy ways. Not by manipulating others for our own benefit.
- This is spiritual blindness and prevents us from seeing God in the other.
Blessed are the peacemakers for they will be called children of God…
- Our needs are complex and one dimension of them is a path that leads to either conflict or the blessing of unity.
- The path of peace is to be differentiated from acquiescing to others desires or demands.
- Peace is discovering the highest possible sense of unity between people.
- When two or three are gathered together in Jesus name, he said he was in their midst.
THE GREATEST CHALLENGE
Blessed are the merciful, for they will receive mercy…
- I have included the merciful beatitude in this challenging section because I think it helps make sense of the latter two.
- The process of life involves a great deal of brokenness. The catch is that some is self- inflicted and some is inflicted by others.
- When it is self-inflicted, the wonder of the gospel is that it invites us to rectify the situation. We confess our failings and the gospel of love offers to restore us
- But injustice is also part of life and not all brokenness is our own failing.
- Often we are treated appallingly by others, we are treated unjustly.
- We may feel that as another has rejected us, God also has abandoned us. But that is not the case.
- By maintaining our own integrity, with truth and love, we are actually closer to heaven than we think.
Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, for there 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.
God is in our experience, both the quality of life within and the communal experience of our relationships with others. Attitude speaks of the quality of our life. The beatitudes speak of those attitudes that reflect the spirit of Jesus, or that is the universal Spirit of the Christ.