Grace to you!
In the Sermon on the Mount (Matthew chapters 5 to 7:29), our Lord Jesus adopted the teaching methods of the Rabbis of is time, namely oral techniques, which are more or less easy-to-remember rhythmic sentences and parallelism. But something was radically different about his teaching, namely its contents and the non-verbal cues that were uniquely powerful.
The contents of Jesus’ teaching, as well as the actual delivery, were so different and powerful that his astonished listeners commented at the end of the Sermon on the Mount, he taught as one who had authority and not as their scribes (Matthew 7:29).
What would one have expected from the Incarnate Word, Jesus Christ, as he delivers his word? Jesus communicates who he is and not what he learned from another teacher. He is the Word with self-outpouring splendor; hence, such power followed every word he spoke.
Let us look at the first body of teachings from Jesus on the series on Sermon on the Mount. It’s what is called The Beatitudes. From this teaching, we know what it means to be truly blessed. So, if you want to be exceedingly blessed, connect with God’s Word and wisdom in The Beatitudes.
The nuggets of “blessedness” given by Jesus on The Beatitudes are eight. So you know, the Greek word used by Jesus translated as “Blessed” is μακάριος (makarios).
Makarios refers to the profound spiritual satisfaction and happiness that thrives amidst any condition, good or bad. It sustains one through pain and sorrows, trials and tribulations. It’s like being solidly established so that nothing would take away your peace, joy and satisfaction. Such a blessing is desirable, isn’t it? You may call it an enduring peace and fulfilment.
I want such enduring satisfaction so that I’ll be firmly established on God’s Word and grace. I hope you do too.
Blessedness of this kind is far more sustaining than many of the things people spend money on for comfort. It isn’t bought. It is divine blessing, a divine gift. To have it is to be a fortunate testimony of divine favor.
Many people, I suppose, want happiness, joy and peace. They want stability in life. They desire the kind of stability that keeps them so balanced that nothing will take away their joy. Otherwise, they wouldn’t be working so hard to get themselves and their family set for the rainy days. Such stability or favor, one can find by applying the principles in The Beatitudes.
For our private reading, I would recommend we read Matthew 5:1-12, Jesus’ entire presentation on The Beatitudes.
Tomorrow’s reflections will focus on the First Beatitude namely, “Blessed are the poor is in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven” (Matthew 5:3).
God love you. God bless you.
Fr. Maurice Emelu
[Tuesday, Ordinary Time B: 1 Kings 17:7-16; Matthew 5:13-16]
Fr. Maurice Emelu, Ph.D.
Father Maurice provides a daily blog of reflections based on Scriptural readings of the day from the Catholic liturgical calendar. You will find these reflections helpful for your spiritual growth, inspiration and developing your own thoughts. It may also be helpful for ministers in preparing their sermons for liturgical celebrations.