Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Commentary on the Beatitudes 5:3-10

The Beatitudes are eight blessings in the Sermon on the Mount in the Gospel of Matthew. Each is a proverb-like proclamation, without narrative, "cryptic, precise, and full of meaning. Each one includes a topic that forms a major biblical theme". (Wikipedia)

The words of Jesus reflect the Love of Jesus for the many people he encountered in his life and ministry.  It is his manifesto regarding care and concern for the people of God.  It is his manifesto of blessing, of God reign.  Manifesto might be considered a strong word, maybe inappropriate at some level yet the reader should consider the context in which he preached.  Manifesto’s typically declare or proclaim an alternative vision of life.  This alternative view may or may not identifies deficiencies.  This becomes problematic for the authority of empire as they spend unceasing hours ensuring that the empirical vision is maintained.  The manifesto of blessing is problematic, even radical on many levels.  Jesus is blessing the poor in spirit, those who mourn, the meek, those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, the merciful, he pure in heart, the peacemakers, and those persecuted for the sake of righteousness. (Matt. 5:3-10)

Blessings are an expression of God’s love for the beloved, for those who desire God.  We are clear that the blessings are for those whose desire is for God and the Kingdom of God and not the world as offered to Jesus by Satan. (Matt. 4)  Those who exclusively seek the blessings of the world, i.e. capitalism, globalization and their implications, considered the realm of temporal concerns, receive the world Satan has to offer considering those who desire differently as antithetical to the primacy of materialism considered by some as a scheme of Satan and agents of evil within the context of sacred biblical text. 

The great interests of the Beatitudes in is that it is the revelation of Jesus Christ own character, as kind of autobiography.  Simply put it is his life, it is his community.  It is his dynamic vision of the Kingdom of God.  The implications of Christ’s revelation are transformational as those who have lived in their desire for God initiate their new found blessing in the temporal world.  Imagine for a moment the challenge as the formerly oppressed and downtrodden, now living in the eternal blessings of God, having obtained the strength imparted by Jesus to address the injustice perpetrated by the agent’s and advocates of the schemes of materialism.   I write here of the Church, the vision of Jesus Christ for the care and concern of humanity, and composed of those who desire is for God.  The Church, in its engagement of the injustices of the world, should be the visible manifestation of those identified in the Beatitudes.  

The Church is the beloved community.  It is the revelation of Jesus and it is identified by Jesus with the Kingdom of God. (Matt. 16:18-19)   The Church is composed of those whose hearts have been touched by God’s desire, regardless of joys, sorrows, poverty and riches, as beautifully expressed by Jesus in the Beatitudes.  Yet, more so, the words of Jesus intimate a real substantive significance, his words identify the divine and sacred longing of God.   The profound calling of the Beatitudes echoes down through the millennia asking, “How the longing of God shall be expressed?”  Those with a sincere heart for Jesus are compelled by the love of Jesus to reflect on this consequential question. 

The beatitudes reminds us that human worth is grounded in a great and magnificent love seldom understood yet so real.  Frankly, it is where we stand in this day of injustice!!


Gospel of St. Matthew 5:3-10