Blessed Are You
We hear the Beatitudes in the gospel today. I find many people like to read these verses. As they read, they develop a bit of a rhythm. And as they read, inside we feel a sense of comfort and security. To just read the words it seems paradoxical because we read ‘blessed are the poor in spirit’. How can this statement make me feel comforted? The next verse, ‘blessed are they who mourn, for they will be comforted.” This verse is probably why many people choose this reading for a loved one’s funeral. The loss of a loved one is when we most need comfort. Still, this reading is confusing. We do not think of being poor or mourning as a blessing. How are we to understand this?
Twelve years ago, about this time of year, I was on a retreat in preparation for being ordained as a priest. I was at a Jesuit retreat house. I had registered to be there for a week on a silent retreat. One thing I learned on that retreat is that I am not cut out to do silent retreats. Another thing I learned was a Jesuit understanding of the Beatitudes. Jesus gave us the Beatitudes to help us live our lives. To help us understanding the many blessings God gives us. So, let us take a moment and look at God’s blessings in the way Jesus expressed them to us. I think you will see how this works in few words.
Blessed are they who woke this morning and gave thanks to God.
Blessed are they who went to work to support their families.
Blessed are they who do not have work and plan to do the best they can.
Blessed are they who will stay home today to nurture and care for their children.
Blessed are they who look today to help someone or do some service for another.
Blessed are they who do not know where their next meal will come from but turn to God to trust in Him.
Blessed are they who patiently instruct others.
Blessed are they who are persecuted for their faith.
Blessed are they who suffer and cry out to God.
Blessed are they who are lonely.
Blessed are you as God has called you to be special today.
May God bless you in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen