The Sermon on the Mount | iPray with the Gospel
“Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. “Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted. “Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth. “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied. “Blessed are the merciful, for they shall obtain mercy. “Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God. “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God. “Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. “Blessed are you when men revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account. Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven, for so men persecuted the prophets who were before you.
The Sermon on the Mount is at the heart of Jesus’ preaching. It was on a Mount (Sinai) that God gave Moses the Law of the Old Testament. It was in another mount that God gave us the New Law. The Beatitudes are the summary of that Sermon. They are the steps of the staircase to Heaven, the plan of holiness. Jesus Himself is the Man of the Beatitudes.
Jesus’ message was as shocking then as it is now. Followed by a crowd of Jews who felt oppressed by the Romans, this Rabbi was saying to them, “blessed are you!” A survey among people today could give a very different list, like: ‘Blessed are those who have money, they will have nothing to be worried about. Blessed are those who are healthy, they will feel no pain; blessed are those who prosper at any cost in business, they will have plenty and more. Blessed are those who can beat and persecute their opponents, they won’t have to hide or flee…’ The world seems to reason like this: ‘Losers are those who are poor…losers are those who mourn, who are weak, who are persecuted…Blessed are, instead, the violent who often triumph and the devious who succeed. Yes’, says the voice of the world, ‘they are the ones who win. Blessed are they!’ But Jesus taught the opposite and proved His point with His Life. He is the Beatitudes! Mary, Mother of Jesus, may I look at Him to see what it means to be poor in spirit, meek and merciful, to mourn, to look for what is right, to be pure in heart, to sow peace and joy… to follow your Son and be persecuted for it and to be – to feel – blessed.
Rev. George Boronat M.D. S.T.D is a Catholic priest from the Prelature of Opus Dei, working in the Archdiocese of Southwark in London. He is the Chaplain of The Cedars Independent School in Croydon, and also works as Chaplain of Kelston Club & Study Centre (Balham) and Oakwood Independent School (Purley). He has developed his pastoral ministry mainly with young people and is the author of iPray with the Gospel: Resources to Help Young People Pray (www.ipraywiththegospel.org).