They teach us the way that Jesus wants us to be.
The Beatitudes give us choices to deliberately "be more" than minimalists or skimmers of the surface of life.
They dare us to believe in the necessity of being a blessing now in exchange for a blessing yet unseen.
This is no immediate transaction. The return on one's investment is in the hands of God.
When we listen to this Gospel at Mass this weekend, we will be challenged to be like Jesus. To be like Jesus is to reflect his countenance, and to be his charity in the world.
Just think about the face of Jesus and picture his example in each of the Beatitudes. Jesus is a living portrait of how "to be " human. He models the attitudes and dispositions that make up a life of love and service.
Finally, the words of the Beatitudes are more than just a listing of good advice or proverbial wisdom. They point out the path to happiness both in this life and the next.
God's creation of us destined us for beatitude.
We were made for more: We were made for happiness. In fact the Catechism of the Catholic Church says our vocation is beatitude—happiness, supreme blessedness.
The Beatitudes respond to the desire for happiness that God has placed within our hearts. In a surprising paradox, we find that the things we fear might make us unhappy really do just the opposite!The Beatitudes respond to the natural desire for happiness. This desire is of divine origin: God has placed it in the human heart in order to draw man to the One who alone can fulfill it. (Catechism of the Catholic Church, par. 1718)
St. Thomas Aquinas taught that "God alone satisfies." That's why Heaven is the goal of life. The Beatitudes point to the beatitude of Heaven. But until we can achieve such a magnificent destiny, following God's way now will bring us a glimpse of heaven's happiness on earth.
It is the unfolding of blessedness in our midst.
Part of a wonderful article by Pat Gohn "To Be Blessed: An Attitude"
Edited by Soutenus
Cross-posted at Preparing for Sunday Mass Notebook
Pat Gohn is a writer, speaker, and host of the Among Women podcast and blog. She holds a Masters in Theology, and a Bachelors in Communications. Her passion is working within the sphere adult faith formation both in parish life and in using media for evangelization and catechesis. Find more at PatGohn.com.