In the gospel of Matthew, Jesus begins his sermon with 9 statements of blessing. Among this list, we find that God blesses, or comes alongside, those whose attitudes and actions are reflective of God’s heart for the world. Jesus’ description of God’s blessing stands in contrast to the attributes and behaviors the world often rewards. His teaching invites us to reconsider what is truly valuable in this life. No matter how much we may strive for material possessions, no matter how we expect them to make us happy, in the end, they aren’t what really matter.
What matters are relationships – with God and with others – where who we are and what we do are reflected back to us. The comfort we have shown others will be shown to us when we, ourselves, are grieving. The mercy we have shown to others will be shown to us when we have gotten it wrong. When we inject peace into conflict, we can rest easy, knowing we have not increased any harm already done and, in fact, may have moved the needle towards reconciliation.
As you read through the list of beatitudes, which do you feel are descriptive of your life? Which are more difficult to embody? How would you compare and contrast Jesus’ list of blessings with what might be valued in today’s world?
Today, offer a prayer of thanksgiving for the comfort, mercy, and courage with which God has blessed you over the years.