Today’s Gospel: LK 6:20-26
The Beatitudes. They are how we are to be. Those verses tell us what our attitude is to be if we follow Jesus. We are being asked to be detached and unconcerned with the way the world views us, and to focus instead on what God wants from us. While the Ten Commandments give us a starting point, the Beatitudes tell us how to live the Christian life. And that within that life there will be sufferings and trials that we suffer in His name. Our challenge then, is to count that suffering as joy, knowing that it purifies us and makes us fit for heaven.
Jesus says, “Rejoice and leap for joy on that day!” How can we rejoice when we are being mocked or weeping or hungry or poor? We can because we will have our consolation in heaven. The idea of suffering all through life does not sound appealing, but the idea of suffering through all of eternity sounds even less appealing. Of course, if we have given ourselves over to living the Christian life out of love for God, then obedience to Him does bring us joy. It also brings us freedom as we live out the promise of salvation that Jesus won for us on the cross. So we do rejoice when we suffer here for His sake, knowing that, in the light of eternity, it is a brief moment. In all of this, it is important to remember that while suffering is part of the human condition, God does not inflict suffering on us to test us. Our response to suffering can draw us closer to Him and make us more receptive to what He wants to teach us.
Maybe the question to ask ourselves is, where do we want our reward? Are we receptive to God in our trials and suffering so we draw closer to Him?
Father, help me to live a life that embraces the Beatitudes and finds joy no matter the struggles, knowing that one day I will live in Your kingdom.
Copyright 2018 Deanna Bartalini
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