REFLECTION | ‘Fortunate are you’

Reflection file photo by Bernard Testa, InterAksyon.

Reflection file photo by Bernard Testa, InterAksyon.

When Jesus saw the crowds, he went up the mountain. He sat down and his disciples gathered around him. Then he spoke and began to teach them: “Fortunate are those who are poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Fortunate are those who mourn; they shall be comforted. Fortunate are the gentle; they shall possess the land. Fortunate are those who hunger and thirst for justice, for they shall be satisfied. Fortunate are the merciful for they shall find mercy. Fortunate are those with pure hearts, for they shall see God. Fortunate are those who work for peace; they shall be called children of God. Fortunate are those who are persecuted for the cause of righteousness for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Fortunate are you, when people insult you and persecute you and speak all kinds of evil against you because you are my followers. Be glad and joyful, for a great reward is kept for you in God. For that is how these people persecuted the prophets who lived before you.”
—Matthew 5:1-12a

Who are the fortunate and who are not? We are all fortunate because we have a God who cares and loves us. We are all fortunate because we are all children of God. We are all fortunate when we follow God and his will for us.

In the gospel account, Jesus preached on the mount about who are fortunate for God. Jesus’ proclamation of who is fortunate was in the form of a sermon on what should be done and not.

The gospel discusses how relationships with one another as brothers and sisters should be: To be poor and simple, to comfort those who are mourning, to be gentle and just, to be merciful, to have a pure heart, to be a person of peace, to be righteous, among others.

He also tackled the offenses that are liable for judgment. With sinful acts and actuations, there is also a need for forgiveness when one has done wrong. The sermon of Jesus on the mountain enumerated the sins that were rampant during their time: no concern for the poor, no sympathy for widows and orphans, lack of caring for one another, being judgmental and heartless to people, being unjust and unfaithful to one’s spouse, and being proud and cruel, to name a few.

Jesus came to fulfill the law and what the prophets have foretold. The greatest in the kingdom is the one who follows the commandments set by God and that is what makes one fortunate. Jesus reminded the faithful that it is equally important to be fair and compassionate to others just as one follows the commandments of a loving God. Anger begets anger, hatred begets hatred, injustice begets injustice, adultery and marital infidelity destroy relationships.

The sermon on the mount discusses moral guidelines and spiritual tips that could still apply today. In our society and community, in our family and in our personal life, Jesus’ words are genuine and true. His words are a shout out to believers to turn away from their wicked ways—that is it not right to kill people, to be part of adulterous relationships, and to have false oaths that destroy one’s self and other people.

The sermon of Jesus is a timely message for Christians today.

Let us pray, reflect and ask ourselves:

Have I asked God’s pardon for the many sins, mistakes, misgivings, shortcomings, faults that I have done, that offended God and hurt others?

Am I serious when I do my act of contrition every time I commit a mistake and promise to amend my failures?

Do I obey God’s commandments by heart? Do I teach the values of the Kingdom and stand as a witness of Christ?

In what way am I fortunate?

Almighty and Loving God, open our hearts and minds to receive you and embrace you wholly. We are fortunate that you are our God and we are your graceful children who are committed to share your blessings with others, especially those who need most your mercy and love.

May we follow you faithfully and dearly so that we can serve you joyfully. May we obey your will in building your kingdom of prosperity, peace, and love. This we ask through Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you, and the Holy Spirit, one God, forever and ever. Amen.

Let us remember those people whom we have promised to pray for and entrust to God all their intentions; we also pray for all Christians all over the world who work for the realization of the mission of Christ and his disciples in whatever capacities and ministries of involvement. Let us also remember those who are lost and down in their lives, may the Spirit strengthen them always and guide them in their works.