REFLECTION FOR TODAY,
September 9, 2020
By Fr. Andrew Ibegbulem, OSA
“Blessed are you who are poor…
Blessed are you who are now hungry…
Blessed are you who are now weeping…
Blessed are you when people hate you…
Rejoice and leap for joy on that day!” Luke 6:20-23
In the beatitudes, Jesus speaks exclusively to those who are suffering – the poor, the weeping, the hungry, and the persecuted. They are blessed because he, the Lord, has arrived to assist them. His companionship is more valuable than gold. His love will turn their tears into laughter. And he will feed them with food that gives eternal life.
The beatitudes demonstrate that God’s ways are not our ways. God made us for his eternal blessedness, yet we often settle for the world’s happiness, which will pass away. What would our lives look like if we, too, sought our happiness in the sight of the Lord?
At first, the Beatitudes can seem quite confusing. And when we strive to live them, they can be very challenging. Why is it blessed to be poor and hungry? Why is one blessed who is weeping and hated? These are difficult questions with perfect answers.
The truth is that each Beatitude ends with a glorious outcome when fully embraced in accord with the will of God. Poverty, hunger, sorrow and persecution are not, by themselves, blessings. But when they befall us they do offer an opportunity for a blessing from God that far surpasses any difficulty the initial challenge presents.
Poverty affords one the opportunity to seek out the riches of Heaven above all else. Hunger drives a person to seek the food of God that sustains beyond what the world can offer. Weeping, when caused by one’s own sin or the sins of others, helps us seek justice, repentance, truth and mercy. And persecution on account of Christ enables us to be purified in our faith and to trust in God in a way that leaves us abundantly blessed and filled with joy.
At first, the Beatitudes may not make sense to us. It’s not that they are contrary to our human reason. Rather, the Beatitudes go beyond what immediately makes sense and they enable us to live on a whole new level of faith, hope and love. They teach us that the wisdom of God is far beyond our own limited human understanding.
Reflect, today, upon the incredible wisdom of God as He reveals these, the deepest teachings of the spiritual life. At very least, try to reflect upon the fact that God’s wisdom is far above your wisdom. If you struggle to make sense of something painful and difficult in your life, know that God has an answer if you but seek out His wisdom.
Lord, help me to find blessings in the many challenges and hardships of life. Rather than seeing my crosses as evil, help me to see Your hand at work in transforming them and to experience a greater outpouring of Your grace in all things. Jesus, I trust in You.