Sunday, January 26, 2020

2020.01.26 The Beatitudes—Jesus Takes Off!

A beatitude is not a bad attitude, although it might occasionally be construed that way. Beatitude means a supreme blessing or supreme blessedness, from Latin beatus (blessed). In the Orthodox Church it is a title given to patriarchs, as in his or your Beatitude. Don’t you love that? I will try it on my beloved Beatitude husband—And how is His Beatitude today? 

Traditionally, then, a beatitude is a very good thing to be, or to have, or even to witness.

Nevertheless, and but……the eight beatitudes, placed into the mouth of Jesus the Christ, as remembered according to Matthew 5:3-10 in the New Testament from the Sermon on the Mount, are very hard blessings, mixed blessings. In short, you get the good with the not so good; for example, the merciful will obtain mercy, which implies they are in a state of being in need of mercy and/or are merciless. Mourners will be comforted, yet they will deeply mourn many times.

The biblical Beatitudes are the prelude to the Sermon on the Mount. I call this grand stump speech: Jesus takes off!

Blessed are the poor in spirit,
for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

Blessed are they who mourn,
for they shall be comforted.

Blessed are the meek,
for they shall inherit the earth.

Blessed are they who hunger and thirst for righteousness,
for they shall be satisfied.

Blessed are the merciful,
for they shall obtain mercy.

Blessed are the pure of heart,
for they shall see God.

Blessed are the peacemakers,
for they shall be called children of God.

Blessed are they who are persecuted for the sake of righteousness,
for theirs is the kingdom of heaven."

              Gospel of St. Matthew 5:3-10

What beatitudes might be meaningful centuries later in 2020?

Blessed are you who are impaired in mind, body or spirit,
for you elicit the joy of love, and will be made whole.

Blessed are they who hate and despise,
for they shall be loved anyway.

Blessed are you beggars who bless us with gratitude and good cheer,
for you shall receive bits of money.

Blessed are you atheists and agnostics and cynics,
for you shall see God.

Blessed are you of great financial wealth,
for you shall receive greater wealth of soul.

Blessed are you sinners who twist and writhe away from light,
for they shall be seen and their fear banished.

Blessed are you who blame or shame,
for you shall be transformed into a giant seesaw that teeters but never slams down on either side.

Blessed are you know-it-alls,
for you shall receive the gift of uproarious laughter.

Blessed are children who wonder and wander and giggle and weep and whoop and holler and bother, for yours is already the kingdom of heaven.

AMEN, my Beatitudes.