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Solemnity of All Saints
Now when Jesus saw the crowds, he went up on a mountainside and sat down. His disciples came to him, and he began to teach them. He said: “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the Kingdom of Heaven. Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted. Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth. Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled. Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy. Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God. Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God. Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness, for theirs is the Kingdom of Heaven. Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you, and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me. Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in Heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.”
Opening Prayer: Lord Jesus, open my ears to hear your invitation to have a heart like yours.
- The Mountainside: Many great biblical epiphanies have occurred upon a mountain. In this passage we have Jesus deliberately sitting down on the mountainside to teach his disciples, and to reveal what characterizes his own heart and those who set out to follow him. The beatitudes have often been called a sort of snapshot of Christ himself. He not only resembles these aspects in their fullest sense, but possesses their reward. He lives and possesses the fullness of the beatitudes, offering us hope of attaining the same.
- Blessed Revelation: The Eight Beatitudes are a type of revelation that allow us a glimpse into the characters of Christ and those whom he calls disciples. Poor in spirit, they desire only what glorifies the Father. Mournful over true injustices, they do not shrink from solidarity in the suffering of others, even suffering for others’ sins. In them meekness reigns, not as in those who resign themselves to the evils of the world, but as in those who treat others with gentleness and patience in long-suffering. Hungering and thirsting for righteousness, they do not seek violence, but rather magnanimity in the fight to establish truth. They offer mercy to others because they themselves have fully received it as a gift from God. Pure of heart, they live a simplicity of intention for the things of God, not tainted by selfishness. Persecuted and insulted, they rejoice that they can suffer what is lacking in the sufferings of Christ.
- More than Mere Imitation: The beatitudes are the crowning jewels of the spiritual life. They are both characteristics to be modeled and graces to be received. But more than mere imitation of Christ through external actions, they are the fruit of much purification of one’s ego. They are the product of grace beautifying a person’s natural capacities of perception and feeling. The beatitudes both form and are born of a person’s new vision of the world, one in which they perceive blessing in living according to the heart of Christ, many times at the expense of being perceived as countercultural in the eyes of the world.
Conversing with Christ: Lord Jesus, grant me a heart like yours. Transform my vision of the world to see what is truly the blessed path versus a path toward destruction. Form my heart to be a model of these characteristics in a world that is in need of you.
Resolution: Lord, today by your grace I will choose one of these beatitudes and reflect on how to live it in a practical way. I will reflect on how they are tools in my Christian journey.
For Further Reflection: The Beatitudes by Dr. Brant Pitrie, https://catholicproductions.com/blogs/blog/the-beatitudes.
Jennifer Ristine is a consecrated woman of Regnum Christi dedicated to spiritual and faith formation through teaching, conferences, writing, and spiritual direction. While serving in Ancient Magdala she wrote Mary Magdalene: Insights from Ancient Magdala and “Nine Days with Mary Magdalene.”
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