ALL Saints, Monday 1 November, 2022: Revelation 7:2-4, 9-14; 1 John 3:1-3; Matthew 5:1-12a
There is a perspective on the Beatitudes—being poor, mourning or hungering, experiencing persecution—that could seem depressing. And then how many people do we see in our society who are actually meek, merciful or clean of heart? They would not be paragons of success or exemplars of current values. Who has the patience or hope to persevere in peacemaking in our antagonistic culture, let alone between belligerent nations?
That said, I hope we have all encountered people who embody at least one of these Beatitudes because their lives would convince us of the blessedness of each of these responses.
Wouldn’t admitting to be poor of spirit, or mourning, hungering for justice or bearing persecution responsibly, be refreshing in our world of appearances and pretenses? Such honesty would be disarming; such courage and hope would certainly encourage me to choose more than the status quo!
Anyone who is truly meek, spontaneously merciful or exhibits an undivided heart—rather than posing as such to rack up brownie points—is motivating, energizing. Such people demonstrate that we can be so much more. A genuine peacemaker reveals that there is more to being human than we “pragmatically” settle for.
Any of these people totally depend on God to respond to life’s challenges as they do. They see far beyond themselves, as they receive from far beyond themselves. Isn’t that what generates sanctity?
We really owe it to ourselves to recall the people we’ve encountered who exemplify each Beatitude. They might be the key to how we, too, can live like that.