Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Reflections on Matthew - Beatitudes

We live in what I consider an angry society.  Just look at our national politicians and media personalities: they are constantly yelling and asserting themselves and their beliefs over others’.  It seems as if they are incapable of sitting down and having a rational conversation.  

What a perfect time to reflect on the refreshing attitude from Jesus in Matthew 5: 1-11: "Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are they who mourn, for they will be comforted. Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the land.”  There are eight of these phrases altogether. 

The person who lives this way in their personal relationships: who decides to pray rather than to fight back, to love rather than retaliate, and most importantly to trust in God and let Him do the work, rather than to do it oneself, is a much happier person and a much more pleasant person to be with.

Yes the Beatitudes are counter-intuitive and counter cultural.  They are definitely not the way we normally think. ‘Happy are those who have no worldly joy.’ ‘Happy are those who are vulnerable and unable to fight back.’ ‘Happy are those who reconcile quarrels, those who forgive and give alms.’  Suffer wrongs patiently. Be meek.

It is not that we are called to be passive and like a rag doll.  Rather, if we truly live the way of the Sermon on the Mount (Matthew chapters 5-7) and trust in God and do not worry, then we would not be angry and bitter.  There will always be someone who disagrees with you or who has hurt you in some way.  It’s time to make the decision to love them in return and forgive what they have done, so that their actions and poor choices can disappear from your life forever.  That’s not passivity; that’s power.

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