Today’s Gospel: Matthew 5:1-12A – Fourth Sunday in Ordinary Time
Many of us can readily recite at least a portion of the Beatitudes talked about in today’s Gospel; that’s how well known they are. Venerable Fulton J. Sheen writes in The Life of Christ that the Beatitudes are still important today because they show us HOW to follow Christ. They show us HOW we are to become a disciple of Christ. And they clarify WHAT it means to be a disciple.
Using Sheen’s hows and whats, take a few minutes to re-read the Gospel and meditate on the words. Did it prompt you to ask: How do you follow Christ? How do you become a disciple? What does it mean to be his disciple?
The passage doesn’t mince words. We are to be poor in spirit (humble); we will mourn when experiencing injustice but will not lose hope in Christ; we will not be pretentious or boastful; we will personally sacrifice for righteousness and justice; we will be merciful even when we are unjustly accused; we will strive to be a just peacemaker; we will endure persecution, insults and hatred and other evils committed against us; and we are to live virtuous, moral lives. We are to trust that these promises are true and one day we will see Christ face to face.
Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI writes in Jesus of Nazareth that these Beatitudes are Christ’s personal invitations to be united with Him – past and present. They are a road map for the Church as well as for you and me. Let’s use them as that.
How do you follow Christ? How did you become a disciple of Jesus? How faithful are you to this call? What does it mean to you to be a disciple of Christ? Do you view personal hardships as a way to draw closer to Christ? Why or Why not?
May God bless each of us as we follow Christ as a disciple. May God help each of us to endure until the end of this life — hopeful and faithful to His personal call to discipleship.
Copyright 2017 Linda Kracht