Commentary on the Gospel of
I have always loved the Beatitudes. The litany of blessings due to those who often seem defeated and left behind in today’s world is comforting and inspiring. In 2013, I am most struck by blessed are those who mourn. It has been a sad year so far, filled with sorrow for my friends, who are mourning a father, a mother, a partner, a baby, a co-worker. The list seems to go on and on. I pray that they are comforted, that they feel wrapped in encouragement and support. The first reading also helps to soothe. “… the Father of compassion and the God of all encouragement, who encourages us in our every affliction, so that we may be able to encourage those who are in any affliction.” We have to do what we can when we confront sorrow even if it seems as if it’s not enough. What do you say to someone who has lost a friend, a parent, a child? Words seem not enough, but I pray to that Father of compassion to encourage me to overcome my hesitation over the right thing to say.
The Beatitudes that start with the merciful and meekend with a sobering tone:
“Blessed are you when they insult you and persecute you and utter every kind of evil against you falsely because of me.
Rejoice and be glad,
for your reward will be great in heaven.
Thus they persecuted the prophets who were before you.”
It isn’t easy to follow Jesus, to live a life as a peacemaker, to live as someone who hungers and thirsts for righteousness. Life is hard, but we have to remember God’s encouragement when we are afflicted. And we have to remember to pass on that encouragement to others when they are afflicted. My prayer today is to remember to be merciful, to comfort those who mourn, to respect those who are meek and those who are clean of heart. And let me be a peacemaker yet stand up for what is right.