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Blue Smoke

September 13

FOCUS:  Our treasure is in heaven.

Blue Smoke


00:00 / 03:54

In today’s Gospel we hear the Beatitudes as presented by Luke.

The Beatitudes express our human experience as followers of Christ and the cost of discipleship. The Beatitudes only make sense if we are seeking to live in the Kingdom of God. God’s kingdom is eternal and begins in this life. To seek God’s kingdom in this life is necessary for us to enjoy the eternal happiness of living in His kingdom forever after we die.

The Beatitudes inform our choices under the law of Christ’s kingdom. As his disciples, we proclaim through our life and suffering the mysterious joy of being members of his kingdom. To be poor of spirit, meek, righteous, and merciful identifies us as belonging to Christ’s kingdom despite sadness, violent opposition, social injustice, or whatever difficulty. We are called to live as Christ lived. This includes enduring the sufferings and injustices that come to us in life. Only with God’s grace and strength in our souls can we act in this way.

Living the Beatitudes is a challenging and daunting proposition.  Who wants to be poor, sad, conflicted, excluded, or demeaned?  We try to do everything possible to avoid or minimize the chance of finding ourselves in such circumstances.  Jesus is not asking us to flee or seek out discomforts.  Instead, he wants us to realize that God always holds a brighter promise and eternal hope for what we endure.  If we seek God first, he always calls us further.

To be “blessed” refers to the fullness of life and meaning that comes from living in union with God. We cannot experience the complete fulfillment of all desire until we reach heaven.  But, here on earth, the growing sense of spiritual happiness that comes from a friendship with Christ is what is meant by “blessed.” Cultivating blessedness is to rejoice in what we must suffer for love of Christ while generously sharing his goodness with those in need.

The Beatitudes draw us into a deeper union with Our Lord. If we take up a spirit of poverty, we rely more on God’s grace then our own ability. If we hunger for union with Christ, He fills us with His Body and Blood. If we mourn the injustice suffered by others, we will be filled with laughter and joy when we join our Father in heaven. If we stand strong in our faith and accept the rejection and insults of those who do not believe, our reward will be the eternal joy we seek in heaven. These are the eternal blessings that cannot be taken away from us by others. Our “woes” come when we seek the temporary pleasures of material riches, fill ourselves with self-serving pleasures, and laugh at the misfortune of others as an expression of our power.

Let’s seek the “blessedness” of life in the Kingdom of God.

Today’s Question for Prayer and Reflection

Do you know the joy and happiness of hungering and thirsting for God alone?

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