Being Satisfied

In last Thursday’s post, we talked about what it is to be a disciple, to follow Jesus and learn to be like Jesus. As we continue our journey together through this Ordinary Time, I’d like to take some time to really dive into what the good news writer Matthew gives us as Jesus’ first major sermon or teaching. I’ve written about this before here and here. This time I want to go deeper, spending time with each statement we call the Beatitudes and really look at what they mean for us as we follow Jesus in our day and time.

Jesus is seeing the huge crowds that he’s beginning to draw because of what he’s taught in their synagogues and the healings he’d done. Matthew tells us that Jesus claimed up a mountain with his disciples and begins to teach them with a series of statements that begin with “you are blessed when ….”

We often use the word ‘blessed’ to mean “I got what I wanted” or in the same way we’d use the word ‘luck’ but we want to sound more grateful. Jesus takes this understanding of blessed and turns it upside down.

He starts with ‘blessed are the poor in spirit.” Other translations say “hopeless” or “at the end of your rope.” Do we feel blessed when we feel this way? Would we ever hear ourselves saying “I’m so blessed. I just lost my job and I don’t know what I’m going to do.”

When Jesus extends the invitation “follow me” he’s asking us to learn to see and experience the world differently, to look at our lives through a new lens. Being blessed isn’t about getting all the good stuff – money, house, clothes, cars, gadgets, etc. – that the world says we should have or that we deserve. Being blessed is about knowing who and whose we are at all times and in all circumstances, knowing we are God’s beloved children so that we can share that love we know with others. Being blessed is about offering who we are and what we have to those around us as we live the prayer “your will be done on earth as it is in heaven.”

When we are poor in spirit, when by the world’s standards we have no hope, when we feel like we are at the end of our rope, we are loved by God. We are blessed when we now that regardless of our circumstances, we are infinitely valuable in God’s Kingdom because when we see ourselves as God sees us, we see others the same way. And when others feel hopeless, we can share the abundance of God’s love that we know so confidently.

Being blessed in the economy of God’s Kingdom means that we find all that we need to be satisfied in our relationship with God and others. If you are feeling at the end of your rope, hear God say, “I love you.” Hear Jesus say, “follow me and let me show you how to be satisfied living life on earth as it is in heaven.”

God’s peace,
Mother Nancy+

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