(Fourth Sunday in Ordinary Time).
Sunday, January 29, 2017.
The beatitudes set the foundation for heaven here on earth. Through them, men are called to merge their earthy lives with the life of the Kingdom. By living the beatitudes men can achieve unity between earthly life and heavenly life.
Who are they who live the beatitudes?
– The poor in spirit are those whose confidence is in God (not in material possessions); they utilize material possessions exclusively for the common good.
– Those who mourn are the ones capable of joining in the suffering of the oppressed; they have the sensitivity to identify themselves with the oppressed.
– The meek are the ones who are sincere and honest in their relations with others, as opposed to being deceitful, false and dishonest; they restore truth and trust to the relations between men.
– Those who hunger and thirst for righteousness are the ones who can lead humankind to liberation and keep the course toward the Kingdom.
– The merciful bring compassionate justice (as opposed to vengeance) to all.
– The clean of heart are the ones who understand and pursue the well-being of everybody (as opposed to pursuing their own selfish interests); they do not mean ill to, or take advantage of anyone.
– The peacemakers are the ones who see in every person a brother or sister. The peacemakers believe we are all children of God. The peacemakers do not destroy, they edify.
– Those who are persecuted for the sake of righteousness are the ones who do not compromise with injustice and oppression, they do not settle for anything less than the kingdom of heaven, and they have begun to build the kingdom of heaven here and now.
The beatitudes always enhance life.
Those who live the beatitudes enhance their own life and that of their fellow men with the life of God who is constantly and incessantly acting in and through them, intervening in human history.
This is how to live the beatitudes: By securing justice for the oppressed, feeding the hungry, setting prisoners free, giving sight to the blind, raising up those who are bowed down, loving the righteous, protecting the stranger, sustaining the orphan and the widow, and thwarting the way of the wicked (Psalm 146:7-9).
The beatitudes will overcome the standards of the world.
Those who embrace the beatitudes will overcome the world’s standards because “God chose the foolish of the world to shame the wise, and God chose the weak of the world to shame the strong, and God chose the lowly and despised of the world, those who count for nothing, to reduce to nothing those who are something” (1 Corinthians 1:27-28).
By embracing the beatitudes we build the foundations of heaven.
(By Jesús A. Diez Canseco)