Monday of the Tenth Week in Ordinary Time

Today’s Gospel passage is the very beginning of Matthew 5.  The very beginning of the Sermon on the Mount.  Today, we hear the Beatitudes.

Jesus is the mediator between God and man…between divinity and humanity.  It is in the person of Jesus Christ that divinity touches humanity.  His humanity puts a face on divinity. 

Jesus goes up the mountain…not a mountain, but the mountain.  Moses had gone up Mount Sinai.  He went up to receive the Ten Commandments from God.  But Jesus does not go up to get something.  He goes up to give something.  He ascends the mountain and then sits, taking the traditional posture of a teacher.  Jesus speaks with the authority of God.  God the Son is the teacher.  His disciples, but not the whole crowd, come to him. 

The Gospels give us Jesus’ teaching.  But the Sermon on the Mount is the core of the New Law that he brings.  And the Beatitudes are the heart of the Sermon on the Mount.

“Blessed are” can also be translated as “happy are.”  The word “beatitude” can be translated as “ultimate blessedness.”  But it can also be translated as “a state of utmost bliss.” 

When we embrace poverty of spirit and reject attachments to things of this world, we find happiness.  When we mourn because we see the emptiness of this world, we also know that we will find complete happiness with God.  When we become merciful, we forgive from the heart because we have become more conformed to the Sacred Heart of Jesus. 

The Beatitudes point away from the things of this world that do not bring fulfillment.  Power, fame, wealth, comfort.  We have some of those things, and we only want more.  They never satisfy us.  Instead, the Beatitudes point toward God, in whom we find what we are seeking.

Moses went up the mountain to give us the Ten Commandments to show us how to align our external actions.  Jesus went up the mountain to teach us how we are given true happiness with a full conversion of our interior selves.  He shows us the disposition that allows the Holy Spirit to enter our hearts and share the grace that we need.

Are we still seeking happiness in the things of this world?  Are we willing to instead detach from the things of this world so that our hearts will become more conformed with the heart of Christ? 

In this is true happiness.  In this is utmost bliss.