The Blessings (Beatitudes in Latin) are not replacements to the Ten Words / Commandments from the Book of Exodus 20 or Deut 5. They are not things that we have to strive to achieve, or conform our lives to. They are states of life where if we draw near to Jesus and allow him to be our God, we can already recognise the gift of God at work in our lives.
Sunday 4 in Year A.
First Reading ‡ Zephaniah 2:3; 3:12-13
In your midst I will leave a humble and a lowly people.
Responsorial ‡ Psalm 145:7-10
Happy the poor in spirit; the kingdom of heaven is theirs!
Second Reading ‡ 1 Corinthians 1:26-31
God has chosen what is weak by human reckoning.
Gospel ‡ Matthew 5:1-12
Happy are the poor in spirit.
William Barclay’s interpreted beatitudes
- O the bliss of those who have realised their own utter helplessness, and who have put their whole trust in God, for thus alone can they render to God that perfect obedience which will make them citizens of the kingdom of heaven!
- O the bliss of those whose hearts are broken for the world’s suffering and for their own sin, for out of their sorrow they will find the joy of God!
- O the bliss of those who are always angry at the right time and never angry at the wrong time, who have every instinct, impulse and passion under control because they themselves are God-controlled, who have the humility to realize their own ignorance and their own weakness, for such people can indeed rule the world!
- O the bliss of those who long for total righteousness as the starving long for food, and those perishing of thirst long for water, for they will be truly satisfied!
- O the bliss of those who get right inside other people, until they can see with their eyes, think with their thoughts, feel with their feelings, for those who do that will find others do the same for them, and will know that that is what God in Jesus Christ has done!
- O the bliss of those whose motives are absolutely pure, for they will someday be able to see God!
- O the bliss of those who produce right relationships one with another, for they are doing a godlike work!
- O the bliss of those who suffer for Jesus, for this will make them citizens of the kingdom.