The Beatitudes speak about the “Kingdom of God,” the central image of Christ’s teaching in the Gospels. When Jesus opened his public ministry, he proclaimed:
“This is the time of fulfillment. The kingdom of God is at hand! Reform your lives and believe in the Gospel!”
– Mark 1:15
Christ is telling us that true happiness is not found in material possessions. A person with simple lifestyle is happier than someone who is so attached to material things. A person who is humble and compassionate experiences inner satisfaction than being stubborn and insensitive to others. We know that being just and merciful to others offer lasting interpersonal relationships than being self-centered. Christ assures us that we will find God if we are single-minded and clean of heart and when we work for peace among all. (CFC #823)
Let us now read about real people who already obscurely experienced the blessings and rewards promised by the Beatitudes. There is no doubt that these people found real and everlasting happiness because they fulfilled the beatitudes.
Poor in Spirit
“Blessed are poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.” (Matthew 5:3)
Persons who are open and humble, not proud or selfish, who put their basic trust in God. They are not controlled by the temptations to power and material possessions but are willing to share whatever they have with others, especially to those in need. A good example of this Beatitude is Mother Teresa of Calcutta who led a life of poverty.
“Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted.” (Matthew 5:4)
Persons who remain firm and courageous in accepting pains and misfortunes of life with hope. They are sorry for their sins and those of others. They see to it that besides their own problems, they can still reach out to others in love. A good example of this Beatitude is Ignatius of Loyola who turned his misfortunes in life to find God.
“Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the Earth.” (Matthew 5:5)
Persons who are not hard-hearted but compassionate, patient and humble. They do not brag about who they are or what they have, nor they put themselves down just to lead people to think that they are humble. They assert their rights in a polite way but accept criticisms as a way to improve themselves. Neither are they proud or self-centered. They do not pick fights with others just to show off how strong they are. They do not bully others, especially those younger than them. A good example of this Beatitude is St. Francis of Assisi.
Hungry and Thirsty for Righteousness
“Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled.” (Matthew 5:6)
Persons who are striving to so what is just, not only for themselves but also for others. They do not take advantage of others, cheat or cut corners to get ahead. They always aspire to do something more for God and neighbor. A good example of this Beatitude is Pope John Paul II who led reforms in the Catholic Church and the fall of Communism in Europe.
“Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy.” (Matthew 5:7)
Persons who forgive others out of love because they know that they too need forgiveness for their own sins and wrongdoing. They are compassionate to both friend and anyone in pain. and can sympathize with them to relieve their sufferings. A good example of this Beatitude is St. Maria Goretti who forgave the one who stabbed her before her death.
Clean of Heart
“Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God.” (Matthew 5:8)
Persons who are faithful to God in good as well as in bad times. Their minds are concentrated in doing God’s will in loving service of neighbor. They are not distracted by many self-centered desires and plans. They do not tease nor make fun of others’ names, characteristics, race or color. A good example of this Beatitude is Mary, the mother of Jesus who was ever faithful, reflecting in her heart.
“Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God” (Matthew 5:9)
Persons who promote love, peace, friendship, truth and fairness and strive for mutual understanding between enemies to attain reconciliation. They do not gossip about others, or tell stories about them behind their back just to belittle them. A good example of this Beatitude is Mahatma Gandhi who was against religious discrimination.
Persecuted for Righteousness’ Sake
“Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness , for theirs is the kingdom of heaven” (Matthew 5:10)
Persons of great courage who risk everything including their lives for the sake of faith, justice, freedom and peace. They are not afraid of ridicule for the sake of being honest in class, helping a teacher in her things and being a constant companion to outcast classmate. A good example of this Beatitude is former Senator Benigno “Ninoy” Aquino who died for the sake of justice and freedom for his beloved country.
© Phoenix Christian Life Education 6