When Jesus saw the crowds, he went up the mountain, and after he had sat down, his disciples came to him. He began to teach them saying, “Blessed are the poor in spirit…” I love the image in the Gospels when a person approaches Jesus and asks “what must we do to gain eternal life?” What can we do to ensure eternal life, eternal peace, eternal happiness? Jesus responds, “keep the commandments.” But like the would be disciple and like so many of us, we want more, we seek a guarantee, we need to be certain. So we ask, what else can we do? Jesus provides the way to perfection, the path to holiness, the road less traveled. The Beatitudes are a loving invitation from God to live as a child of God. To more deeply touch the image of our Father and Creator, and to become that which we were destined to become – happy, holy, beloved all the days of our lives and that wonderful life we gain thereafter. What a beautiful invitation our Lord inspires us to consider. What would make us happy? What would make you truly happy? If we had to be honest with ourselves, nothing in this world could ever really satisfy us or make us truly happy. Everything eventually fades away, leaving us wanting, longing, leaving us with a hunger and a thirst for more, desiring something else. However, God is forever, God is eternal; God never changes – only God can make us truly happy. Blessed be God forever. So how can we truly become happy? What or who can lead the way and show us how? Certainly, Christ can. He is the source of our joy, the cause of our happiness. The Beatitudes are a means for us to follow Christ, to imitate him, to be like him; blessed indeed. The Beatitudes challenge us and remind us that we do not think as God does. Really, who wants to mourn, to be persecuted or be poor in spirit? Yet these things help us to empty ourselves as Christ did to become meek and humble of heart, to remain peaceable in times of trial, to be vulnerable and poor in the eyes of God, to be merciful and kind to everyone and in every situation, to live as we have been called to live and to be happy, holy and beloved all the days of our lives. Blessed be God forever.
Solemnity of All Saints.