Daily Readings Reflection for 6/10/10

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Reflection on Today’s Daily Readings by Fr. Bertrand Buby, SM

Today’s Readings

Scripture: June 10. Lectionary # 362 I Kings 18:41-46. Psalm
65:10.10-11.12-13. Matthew 5:20-26.

Jesus continues the sermon and we can imagine that he is giving us the
implications and interpretations of the beatitudes.  All of us are called
to be peaceful people (peace makers), meek (kind, open, generous), and
merciful (a quality of God’s love for us called “Hesed”).  The strong
stance of Jesus starts with the commandments and then spells them out
through the beatitudes.  We focus on the fifth and sixth commandment in
today’s word from Jesus–Thou shalt not kill, thou shalt not commit
adultery.  The third,fifth and seventh beatitude are the practical ways of
living out the positive side of what Jesus is saying.  No temper tantrums,
no angry words or violence, no abusive behavior, and above all the great
gift of reconciliation if we have wronged a sister or a brother.  The
beatitudes that seem to match Jesus words for today are, therefore,
Beatitude three: Blessed are the  meek, they shall inherit the earth;
beatitude five: blessed are the merciful, they shall receive mercy; and the
seventh beatitude: blessed are the peacemakers for they will be called
children of God.

The image of reconciliation is one of the most beautiful and powerful in
the New Testament: “So when you are offering your gift at the altar, if you
remember that your brother or sister has something against you, leave your
gift before the altar and go: first be reconciled to your brother or sister
and then come and offer your gift.”  This is very sensitive especially when
approaching the altar for communion. It is preceded by the exchange of a
sign of peace and this has to be from the bottom of our hearts and from our
willing it.  We may not be drawn to a particular member of the community
but we do have to offer the exchange of peace before we are to receive the
Lord.

Jesus is always more than a teacher in his sermons and discourses. He is
the personification of Wisdom and the Beatitudes.   He orders all things
rightly, guides us on our path of life, helps us in the gift of
reconciliation and tells us to be careful how we call our brothers and
sisters.  We are fortunate to have this long and beautiful sermon of Jesus
and to hear his living voice when it is  read at the liturgy or pondered
over in our meditations.  Jesus observed the commandments in a joyful and
enthusiastic way.  We do the same by framing them with the spirit of the
beatitudes.  How? Just by listening and doing what Jesus is telling us
especially in the beatitudes of Matthew’s Gospel and those of Luke.  Jesus,
most likely, meditated on Psalm One when he thought about what he was to
say in giving us the beatitudes. In that Psalm the word beatitude actually
opens the Psalter.  The word for beatitude will be used twenty-five more
times in the psalms . It is used forty five times throughout the Old
Testament and fifty times within the New Testament. Beatitude can be
translated as blessed, happy, fortunate, and lucky.  It is a key to
positive healthy thinking and virtuous living.  Jesus was smiling when he
delivered the beatitudes for all of us to embrace and live out in our daily
actions and words.  Amen.

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