In the gospel of Matthew Jesus gives us the eight beatitudes. The word beatitude means “happiness” or the state of being blessed or fortunate. It has been said that the beatitudes are the constitution of the Kingdom of Christ. A constitution is the basic set of laws by which a nation is governed. When Jesus gave to the world the beatitudes he was describing the kind of person who would be an authentic Christian.
Given the fact that we are all somewhat worldly, if we had to describe the truly happy, blessed, or fortunate person, I suspect that we’d say things like this: happy are the rich, the good-looking, the well-built, the talented, the one with political or business connections, the one who can claw his way to the top and lord it over others. Happy are the clever, the sharp, the socially popular, the sexy, those with straight teeth and good hair—the beautiful people who are idolized by Hollywood and the entertainment media. Strange, but Christ doesn’t seem at all interested in those qualities.
Let’s often use the eight beatitudes as an examination of conscience. Do we understand what Our Lord is saying? Do we attempt to be a person of those qualities? Are we approaching Our Lord’s description of the true members of his kingdom? Thank you for seeking God’s truth, God Bless you, Father Victor Brown, O.P.
Note: This message was composed some years ago.