February 27, 2013
Beatitudes Reflection Essay
Interpreting what Jesus meant when he said “Blessed…” leads people too many different conclusions. Some look on the surface while others dig deeper. In the end, you should come up with a spiritual meaning. Being blessed is being blissfully happy. To me, Jesus was saying favored are you. The word blessed has many meanings all of which apply, but one in particular stands out to me. Divinely or supremely favored; fortunate, is the definition I think fits best. Between both Matthews Gospel and Luke’s Gospel, Jesus blesses many people. Each blessing holds a different meaning. In both, Jesus is speaking to a crowd. What we learn from reading deeper into the Beatitudes is amazing. We need to follow closely what the Beatitudes say so that we can enter the Kingdom of God. Matthews’s version of Jesus’ blessings needs to be read in a deeper light. Jesus blesses the poor in spirit, the morning, the meek, those that hunger and thirst for righteousness, the merciful, the pure of heart, the peacemakers, those who are persecuted, and those who are insulted because of the Lord. If we look deeper, we see that each of these possess a deep spiritual meaning. Mathew meant for people to see Jesus as the new Moses so he calls him teacher and has him preach to the crowd from a mountain top. Those that are poor in spirit are dependent on God for everything. Mother Teresa is a perfect example of such a person. She gave up hot water just so she could be like the poor. Those who hunger and thirst for righteousness are people who want to see justice in the world. You don’t have to be saint or a holly person to want justice. The law enforcement carrier is full of people who want to see justice in our world. Police officers, firefighters and prosecutors are just a few examples of people who work under this carrier branch. Jesus also says, “Blessed are the peacemakers for they will be called children of God.” If you look in your neighborhood, I’m sure that you could find someone who is free of selfish intentions and is finding ways to help others. People who volunteer at food banks or homeless shelters are peacemakers. They are giving up their own time to help those who do not have as much. St. Vincent de Paul is an example of one such organization that helps others who are in need. Matthews’s versions of the beatitudes have always been my favorite. Now that I know that I know the deeper more spiritual meaning, I can understand why Jesus would want us to know about them. He wants us to be able to enter the Kingdom.
In Luke’s Gospel, the blessings that Jesus gives can be taken in more of a literal manner. Jesus blesses the poor, the hungry, the weeping and those that are insulted and excluded because of the Lord. The amount of people who are blessed in Luke’s Gospel is significantly lower than the amount of people Matthew has Jesus blessing. Jesus talks to the crowd on a plain which reflects the image of Jesus that Luke wanted to convey which is, Jesus is the messiah for all people. Many people read the Beatitudes in a literal manner because they see them as beautiful poetry. When Jesus says, “Blessed are you who are poor, for yours is the kingdom of God,” he is literally talking about the poor. Those that are homeless, without jobs, or even those who do not have families are people in our modern world that Jesus would have been talking to. When Jesus blesses those that are hungry, he means those that do not have enough to eat. There is a homeless man that we pass on the way to my church. He has a sign asking for food, money or anything that will help. He is always smiling and he plays his guitar on the side of the road. His name is Jim and he is a poor man who is hungry. The mourning are another group of people that Jesus blesses. He says that they will laugh, and I have seen that at work. My neighbor had been going through some tough times, but with the help of her family and