Monday, February 11, 2019

Feb. 17, 2019 Embracing The Beatitudes

The Sixth Sunday in Ordinary  Time  -  Year C
Partial background image ©

Reading I:  Jeremiah 17: 5-8

Psalm:  Psalm 1

Reading II:  1 Corinthians 15:12, 16-20

Gospel:  Luke:6:17, 20-26

Lee Atwater, the Bush campaign manager who died at the age of 40 of a brain tumor, had attained wealth and honor. However, he felt a deep inner emptiness, and said: “My illness helped me to see that what was missing in society is what is missing in me — a little heart, a lot of brotherhood.” He reached the conclusion that “We must...speak to this spiritual vacuum at the heart of American society.”

In today’s Gospel, we hear Jesus speaking of what brings true happiness to human beings as He proclaims The Beatitudes. At first glance, they seem to be the opposite of what brings happiness. They teach us that riches, well-being, fame, power or any human achievements are not truly fulfilling. In God alone, do we find all we need and perfect love.

During my pilgrimage to the Holy Land, we spent time on the Mount of Beatitudes overlooking the shore of the Sea of Galilee. This is believed to be the spot where Jesus gave the Sermon on the Mount.

Our leader explained that the Scripture writers compiled the teachings of Jesus in the listing of Beatitudes that we read. However, these were taught gradually to the disciples. They are so profound that each one requires reflection and time to absorb their full meaning, especially since they seem to go against worldly wisdom. Unless we take time with each, they seem to be overwhelming. Let us ask the Holy Spirit to help us to understand each one.

 Reflection:   Discover gratitude and compassion by reflecting upon the meaning of each of the Beatitudes listed below.

#1 Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
Be satisfied with what you have. Share the good things we have with others because God wants us to.

#2 Blessed are they who mourn, for they will be comforted.
Comfort those who are suffering. Help others feel better about themselves
after a loss.

#3 Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the land.
Humility-a true sense of who you are. Get the ego out of the way.

#4 Blessed are they who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be satisfied. Do what is fair for everyone. Think WWJD What Would Jesus Do?

#5 Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy.
We forgive those who are unkind to us. Look for ways to show kindness to others.

#6 Blessed are the clean of heart, for they will see God.
We do what is right just because we know it is the right thing to do.

#7 Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God.
We try to bring God’s peace to the world. We control our behavior so people can see Jesus in us.

#8 Blessed are they who are persecuted for the sake of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. We are willing to stand up for God’s laws even if we are teased or insulted.

Spanish Translation of Reflection Above...
Abrazando las Bellezas

Lee Atwater, el gerente de campaña de Bush que murió a la edad de 40 años de un tumor cerebral, había alcanzado riqueza y honor. Sin embargo, sintió un profundo vacío interior, y dijo: “Mi enfermedad me ayudó a ver que lo que faltaba en la sociedad es lo que me falta: un corazón pequeño, mucha hermandad”. Llegó a la conclusión de que “Debemos ... hablar a este vacío espiritual en el corazón de la sociedad estadounidense”.

En el evangelio de hoy, escuchamos a Jesús hablar de lo que trae verdadera felicidad a los seres humanos. como Él proclama Las Bienaventuranzas. A primera vista, parecen ser lo contrario de lo que trae la felicidad. Nos enseñan que las riquezas, el bienestar, la fama, el poder o cualquier logro humano no son verdaderamente satisfactorios. Solo en Dios, encontramos todo lo que necesitamos y el amor perfecto.

Durante mi peregrinación a Tierra Santa pasamos un tiempo en el Monte de las Bienaventuranzas con vistas a la costa del Mar de Galilea. Se cree que este es el lugar donde Jesús dio el Sermón del Monte.

Nuestro líder explicó que los escritores de las Escrituras recopilaron las enseñanzas de Jesús en la lista de Bienaventuranzas que leemos. Sin embargo, estos fueron enseñados gradualmente a los discípulos. Son tan profundos que cada uno requiere reflexión y tiempo para absorber todo su significado, especialmente porque parecen ir en contra de la sabiduría mundana. A menos que tomemos tiempo con cada uno, parecen ser abrumadores. Pidamos al Espíritu Santo que nos ayude a entender a cada uno.

 Reflexión:   Descubra la gratitud y la compasión al reflexionar sobre el significado de cada una de las Bienaventuranzas que se enumeran a continuación.

# 1 Bienaventurados los pobres de espíritu, porque de ellos es el reino de los cielos. Esté satisfecho con lo que tiene. Comparte las cosas buenas que tenemos con los demás porque Dios quiere que lo hagamos.

# 2 Bienaventurados los que lloran, porque ellos serán consolados.
Consuela a los que sufren. Ayudar a otros a sentirse mejor con ellos mismos después de una pérdida.

# 3 Bienaventurados los mansos, porque ellos heredarán la tierra.
Humildad, un verdadero sentido de quien eres. Quita el ego del camino.

# 4 Bienaventurados los que tienen hambre y sed de justicia, porque estarán satisfechos. Haz lo que sea justo para todos. Piensa WWJD ¿Qué haría Jesús?

# 5 Bienaventurados los misericordiosos, porque se les mostrará misericordia.Perdonamos a los que son crueles con nosotros. Busque maneras de mostrar bondad a los demás.

# 6 Bienaventurados los limpios de corazón, porque ellos verán a Dios.
Hacemos lo correcto porque sabemos que es lo correcto.

# 7 Bienaventurados los pacificadores, porque serán llamados hijos de Dios.
Tratamos de traer la paz de Dios al mundo. Controlamos nuestro comportamiento para que las personas puedan ver a Jesús en nosotros.

# 8 Bienaventurados los perseguidos por causa de la justicia, porque de ellos es el reino de los cielos. Estamos dispuestos a defender las leyes de Dios incluso si somos objeto de burlas o insultos.


  1. Depending on what side of the fence life finds us, Jesus’ words can bring consolation or unrest. Jesus turns the tables on society’s standards and blesses the poor, grieving and marginalized while cautioning those who are affluent, satiated, and frivolous. The following article, entitled “Turn the Woes Around, written by Fr. Walter Burghardt, provides interesting insight into the opportunities available to the “well-off” toward the less fortunate, which offers blessings for both.

    “Blessed, fortunate, happy are you who are rich, rich in money or power, in talent or time, because you can do so much for the poor, can lift the yoke of the oppressed. But blessed only if you have the mind of the poor, the mind of Christ. Only if you recognize that you may not do what you will with what you have. Only if you realize that you are stewards, that whatever you “own” you hold in trust. Only if you employ your power for peace, your wisdom to reconcile, your knowledge to open horizons, your compassion to heal, your hope to destroy despair.

    Blessed, fortunate, happy are you who are full now…because you are strong enough to feed the hungry, to touch empty stomachs with compassion. But blessed only if you have the mind of the hungry, the mind of Christ. Only if you do not take your food for granted. Only if you are uncomfortable as long as one sister or brother cries in vain for bread or justice or love. Only if you experience your own emptiness - how desperately you need the hungry, how far you still are from God. Blessed are the full, if you are always hungry.

    Blessed are you who laugh now, because you can bring the joy of Christ to others, to those whose days are woven of tears. But blessed only if you can laugh at yourselves, if you don’t take yourselves too seriously, if human living doesn’t revolve around you and your needs, your hiatus hernia and your latest rebuff. Only if you take delight in all God’s creation, in snow and star, in blue marlin and robin redbreast…in the presence of the Trinity within you. Only if laughter means that you let go - let go of all that shackles you to yesterday, to dead hopes, imprisons you in your small selves. Blessed are you, because you are free.”

    I absolutely love Fr. Burghardt’s interpretation of these three Beatitudes and I feel as though they speak to Lee Atwater’s call for “a little heart, a lot of brotherhood.”

    Blessed are we who hear Christ’s words and follow His roadmap for happiness.

  2. Thank you, Sr. Annette, for helping us to better understand and live out the Beatitudes. Your blog posts and reflections help me to continue my faith journey each week!

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