The Gospel about the Beatitudes this Sunday according to Matthew is very powerful. The Beatitudes refer to paths toward authentic happiness, blessedness and being favored by God. Jesus is presented as the New Moses but also greater than Moses. He teaches his disciples about the essential, the absolute and the supreme good. He said that I have come so that your joy may be complete and that you may have fullness of life.
The Beatitudes are attitudes, virtues and values of the Kingdom of heaven. They are not visible, external blessings nor worldly ones. The blessings are internal characteristics that each disciple has to develop. They are God’s gifts to those who are humble, open and receptive to the promptings of the Holy Spirit. The first four beatitudes like, “Blessed are the poor in spirit, blessed are those who mourn, blessed are the meek, blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness”, describe the heart of the person who is rightly related to God. The rest of the beatitudes like, “Blessed are the merciful, blessed are the pure in heart, blessed are the peacemakers, and the persecuted”, describe how such a person relates to other people. The Beatitudes reveal the core of Christian living and that is our deep love of God and of our neighbor. We are called to rely on God alone because our world creates false gods and security. The Beatitudes lead us to a right, harmonious relationship with God, with creation, with others and with ourselves.
Finally, the Beatitudes point to Jesus who is poor, humble, meek, mournful, merciful and suffering servant.