“Be perfect as your Heavenly Father is perfect.” Jesus challenges us with this task in every time and place. How often people shy away and make the excuse: “I’m only human. I’m not perfect.” Jesus never requires anything of us without giving us the means to acquire it. He calls us to perfection and, in turn, gives us the Beatitudes as the road-map to the path of perfection.
The Beatitudes have been called the Magna Carta of the Christian life, and the Charter of the New Covenant. By striving to live them, we will grow in holiness. In today’s Gospel, Jesus takes a seat on the Mount which signifies the ancient gesture of a teach communicating important truths to his followers. The Beatitudes challenge us to measure ourselves against them.”
The eight Beatitudes, St. John Paul II, said are the road signs that show the way. It is an uphill path, but He has walked it before us: Blessed are the poor in spirit. Blessed are those who mourn. Blessed are the meek. Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness. Blessed are the merciful. Blessed are the clean of heart. Blessed are the peacemakers. Blessed are those who are persecuted for the sake of righteousness.
What better way could we examine our consciences than to prayerfully reflect on the Beatitudes, their meaning in one’s life, and most of all to ask the question: “Am I living them?” Even if we have failed to measure up to them, we can begin anew through the grace of God’s mercy in the sacrament of penance. Jesus has given us the roadmap to heaven; let us do all in our power, with His grace, to reach our destination safely. Fr. Paul Burke, Holy Spirit College