Blessed are the Pure of Heart for they shall see God
Ezekiel 36, 23-27 & Luke 10, 38-42
We are told that Saint Catherine was at one time very devoted to the verse from Psalm 51, “create in me a clean heart”; and one day she had a strange experience in which it seemed that the Lord came to her and removed her physical heart. Later he inserted a new heart into her, his own heart saying, “I am giving you my heart so that you can go on living with it forever.” Now whatever else we may want to make of a story like this, it is at least a dramatic representation of the teaching of St Paul. … more »
Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted.
Luke 19, 41-44 and John 11, 33-35
There is an intensity with this Beatitude just as with the others. The Greek word that Matthew chooses means more than sorrow. It means, agony. Πενθουντες speaks of a broken heart, the kind of broken heart that comes from a great loss like the grief felt by a parent over the death of a child. Thinking of it in this way, with this sense, we gain a deeper insight into God himself, a God who grieves, the kind of grief that a father would experience over the death of his first and only son. Think of David and his response to the death of his dearest son. … more »
Blessed are the Poor in Spirit, for theirs is the Kingdom of Heaven.
Luke 16, 19-31
It is helpful to remember that the Beatitudes are not statements, they are exclamations which is why some translations will say, “Happy” But that English word is not so good because Happy gives away its own case. It contains the root “hap” which means “chance”. Human happiness is something which is dependent on chances which come and go. Life gives and also takes. It’s all by “chance”. Not so with the meaning of these exclamations. This is about Blessedness and Joy which nothing in life can take away. So, these are not pious hopes of what shall be. … more »
After Jesus leaves the desert he makes his way into Galilee which for him is home territory since Nazareth is in that area. There he meets and calls Peter, Andrew, James, and John. We are told that crowds gathered around, and so like another Moses, up the mountain he goes and there he unfolds the conditions of a new covenant that will be sealed in his blood. Like the commandments which expressed the old covenant, the Beatitudes Jesus speaks of unfold the conditions and promises of the new covenant, and into that new covenant we will venture this week during our Parish Lenten Mission. … more »