When Jesus saw the crowds, he went up the mountain; and after he sat down, his disciples came to him. Then he began to speak, and taught them, saying:
Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven: Blessed is the family bankrupted by medical costs. Blessed is the elder who stands with a cardboard sign asking for money at the end of the on-ramp.
Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted: Blessed is the one who has lost loved ones to preventable illness. Blessed is the one who grieves the loss of a job to retirement or restructure.
Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth: Blessed is the one who flees the violence of war in one nation, only to experience the violence of detention in another. Blessed is the one who cannot speak for himself, whose only language is the anguish in his eyes.
Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled: Blessed is the one who travels by three busses to find affordable groceries in her city. Blessed is the one whose kitchen is empty, but who can’t find a food pantry in his rural area.
Blessed are the merciful, for they will receive mercy: Blessed is the one on social media who asks a genuine question rather than starts a fight. Blessed is the one who offers solace to the addict without demanding proof that she is worthy.
Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God: Blessed is the one who tells the truth, even when a lie would be easier. Blessed is the one who receives the truth with grace and curiosity.
Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God: Blessed is the one who marches in the streets for peace in the world. Blessed is the one who sits on a prayer cushion for peace in their heart.
Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven: Blessed is the one who is wrongfully accused and imprisoned. Blessed is the one who has served time, only to find himself barred from housing and work upon his release.
These blessings from Christ, known as the Beatitudes, continue to have resonance in our world today. Spend some time in prayerful consideration of the Beatitudes you have witnessed in your community.