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CONCERNING THE BEATITUDES

Read­ing Time: 3 minutes

Introduction

Last Sunday we heard Jesus call Peter to be his dis­ciple after teach­ing them how to dig deep and win souls for God. after­wards, Jesus travels with Peter and the oth­er dis­ciples. Luke reports acts of heal­ing (a per­son with lep­rosy and a para­lyt­ic man) and the call of Levi, the tax col­lect­or. Jesus also replies to ques­tions from the Phar­isees regard­ing fast­ing and the observ­ance of the Sab­bath. In the pre­ced­ing verses, Luke doc­u­ments the choos­ing of the twelve apostles by Jesus from among his dis­ciples, whom he called apostles Apostle is a Greek word that means “one who is sent.” This Sunday gos­pel read­ing is the fam­ous Ser­mon on the Plain. The par­al­lel pas­sage is found in Mat­thew 5:1–12. While the Lukan ver­sion is called Ser­mon on the Plain, that of Mat­thew is des­ig­nated as the Ser­mon on the Mount. Besides the titles.…

On the beatitudes

While Mat­thew has nine beatitudes, Luke has only four. Again, to the four beatitudes, Luke presents also four woes. The Eng­lish term beatitude is a trans­la­tion of the Greek word makári­os. In our con­text, the word blessed (makári­os) could be trans­lated as happy, for­tu­nate, priv­ileged, or favoured. “And Jesus lif­ted up his eyes on his dis­ciples, and said: Blessed are you poor, for yours is the king­dom of God” (Luke 6:20). That is, blessed or happy are those of you that are my dis­ciples and who are (mater­i­ally) poor, for the king­dom of God belongs to you. By spe­cify­ing that Jesus lif­ted his eyes on the dis­ciples, Luke under­lines an import­ant aspect: that Jesus wanted his dis­ciples to listen attent­ively because what he is about telling them needs ser­i­ous com­mit­ment and undi­vided atten­tion. This is the kind of atten­tion and com­mit­ment that are required of us, whenev­er we are read­ing or listen­ing to the word of God. Every form of dis­trac­tion should be avoided even when we pray, for in pray­ing, we equally make use of the word of God.

Who are the Poor?

When the Bible says the poor, who and who are being referred to? In our Nigeri­an soci­ety, when we say that a per­son is poor, what do we mean? In the Hebrew (Old) Test­a­ment, the poor referred to the pious poor who looked unto God and depended on Him for sur­viv­al. Prob­ably, it is because of the adject­ive ‘pious’ attached to the poor that makes Mat­thew say poor in the spir­it. In the Bible and in the Second Temple lit­er­at­ure, the noun ‘poor’ refers not only to those lack­ing mater­i­al wealth, but also to wid­ows, orphans, the power­less, the oppressed, and the needy mem­bers of soci­ety. Like the poor, wid­ows and orphans (cf. Isa 10:2) are among those whom God gives vic­tory over the power­ful (cf. Isa 61:6). These poor, meek, and power­less individuals.…

Conclusion

Tak­ing Luke and Mat­thew togeth­er, those blessed are the poor in spir­it; those who mourn; the meek; those who hun­ger and thirst for right­eous­ness; the mer­ci­ful; the pure in heart; the peace­makers; those per­se­cuted for right­eous­ness; and those insul­ted, per­se­cuted, and falsely accused. Speak­ing about etern­al life and the need to live cor­rectly to be admit­ted by God in his pres­ence, Paul reminded and informed the Cor­inthi­an Chris­ti­ans, and the Nigeri­an Chris­ti­ans as well that “…we must all appear before the judg­ment seat of Christ, so that each one may be paid back accord­ing to what he has done while in the body, wheth­er good or evil” (2Cor 5:10). ‘Accord­ing to what we have done in the body’ means while we lived here on earth. The beatitude is the explan­a­tion and applic­a­tion of the words of Paul we have just cited. In and with the beatitude, each per­son will be rewar­ded accord­ingly. Note that the word blessed (makári­os) implies hap­pi­ness, sat­is­fac­tion, feli­city, joy, health, and well-being. Ori­gin­ally, it meant free from daily cares and worries.

FOR DETAILS, GET YOUR OWN COPIES OF THE BOOKTHE WORD OF LIFE: SUNDAY REFLECTIONS” (vols. I‑II-III)!! The reflec­tion for the 6th Sunday of the year © is found in vol. III pages 118–130. Happy reading!

For details on how to get it, con­tact the author on this link: https://m.me/uchennabiblia?fbclid=IwAR2yeg4a6sDGBp9QGkIvKj6FSADumMokN6lshdE0zuo-JHs6qOmlhA7jyHo or email me at: postmaster@uchennabiblia.com or simply send an SMS on 08116100926, and I will get back to you.

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