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           Do you rebel against the Beatitudes of the Sermon on the Mount? Feeling angry at God? Or simply puzzled? One good way of overcoming that is to see how they are lived by Jesus himself, all his life long, but especially on the Cross. There, he is totally poor in spirit and in fact, mourning, meek, thirsty for righteousness, merciful, pure in heart, a peacemaker, persecuted for righteousness’ sake. Review the Passion, the seven words of Jesus on the Cross. And see how he is already receiving the blessings attached to each beatitude. See how he is already sharing them with the people around him. See yourself there. Receive those blessings yourself… the Kingdom of God. It is God reigning in you, be comforted by him. Be filled with righteousness (holiness), mercy, purity of heart, inner peace, and like Christ, become givers of these gifts. The “good” thief crucified on the right side of Jesus already received these blessings, even before dying.

           If this sounds intimidating and scary, look at one saint you know better. How did Mother Teresa live the Beatitude and find joy? You don’t need to understand all the Beatitudes. Start with one you relate to, any one, because they are all an entry to the Kingdom. And when you enter there even in this life because the Kingdom is near – Jesus is the Kingdom himself – then you will have all the other beatitudes; because they are all interconnected in Jesus. Look at Mother Teresa! Her purity of heart is one I like. Purity of heart doesn’t imply absence of temptations. You may be very much tempted, yet have a pure heart. When you buy a bag of 100% pure flour, it means that there is nothing else other than flour in it. No preservatives, no other white stuff. Just flour. Your heart is pure when it seeks to do God’s will unconditionally. You might not be there fully but that is where you are heading.

           Look at Mother Teresa. She was seeing God in everyone, rich and poor. In every event, good or bad, in everything. She saw each one of these as a gift from God, a sign of his presence. She saw God in the poorest of the poor, in the Eucharist, in the Scriptures. Notice that this beatitude, “Blessed are the pure of heart, for they will see God” works both ways. Indeed, if you see God in and through all things, events, and people, you will have an undivided heart. You will love God in all things. The reverse is also true. If you have an undivided heart, you will see God in all things.

           My favorite beatitude nowadays is “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God”. You are spreading peace in every place, event, and people when you have peace deep within you. If you have a pure heart, you will have peace in you and you will give it. The more you give it, the more it comes back to you. “My peace I give you”, said Jesus, “not like the world gives it. No one can take it away from you.”

Blessed are you!
Fr. Pierre