The Beatitudes must be in everyone’s top ten list of scripture texts. This reading remains a popular choice at both weddings and funerals because in very beautiful and poetic words it sums up the kind of person every Christian wants to be.
However on carefully looking at the Beatitudes we might start to think that we don’t actually want to be poor or to mourn or to be persecuted. However we would be happy enough if we were gentle, if we had a hunger and thirst for what is right, if we were merciful or if we were peacemakers.
But maybe this mix of seemingly both positive and negative qualities is a more accurate picture of our lives here on earth. What we should remember though is that in the Kingdom of God everything is turned to a good purpose even that which is outwardly negative.
Perhaps then we should therefore look on being poor in a more positive light and perhaps interpret it as living simply. Maybe mourning could be seen as the result of loving the friends we have lost very deeply and perhaps persecution as the consequence for standing up for what is right and true. Father Alex
Father Alex McAllister SDS