by M. Jolaine Szymkowiak

Faith and the Beatitudes
M. Jolaine Szymkowiak
Matthew 5:3-12

The Beatitudes are more than just good principles to live by, to reflect upon for us to give occasional notice. They are another of God's ways to get us to think of more than what is going on around and within us. Through the study of the Beatitudes, He gives more than we are capable of appreciating, and asks more than we think we are capable of doing. The Beatitudes are part of the process through which He speaks to us now on what He wants us to know.

"Blessed are" - not "blessed will be" - the Beatitudes are active, now, the "now" that continues through time as we each move into the future. When the blessing is given, it does not say "if", or "when", it says you are blessed, and the blessing is the result of life lived in faith through many and various circumstances.

Just as our faith grows and changes, so does the meaning of the various Beatitudes. A different Beatitude may enhance what may match in faith and attitude now, at a later date. The Beatitudes fit everyone of faith and I feel, are accumulative.

Using Nelson's New American Standard Bible and Eugene Peterson's New Testament in Contemporary Language, THE MESSAGE, I will precede each with the scripture and follow with my comment.

Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. "You're blessed when you're at the end of your rope. With less of you, there is more of God and his rule" (3).

I find myself at the end of my rope more times than I would like to admit. However, with this blessing, getting through those times means acknowledging God's rule and my obedience to that rule.

Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted. "You're blessed when you feel you've lost what is most dear to you. Only then can you be embraced by the One most dear to you" (4).

Interesting twist that The Message makes us think of items, and events, but not people which one usually thinks of with the word " ...

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