Now when Jesus saw the crowds, He went up on a mountainside and sat down. His disciples came to Him, and He began to teach them. He said: “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted. Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth. Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled. Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy. Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God. Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God. Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me. Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.” Matthew 5:1-12
“Now even though we may have faith, hope, and love, none of us can attain this state of blessedness by ourselves… He alone can be said to come to true blessedness who, having resolved in his heart to rise to this state of happiness by the many stages of the virtues and good works, receives the help of your grace… God does help the blessed. For our lawgiver Christ, who gave us the law, gives now and will continue to give His blessings, the abundant gifts of grace, by which He will bless His own, that is, raise them to beatitude.”
Bruno of Cologne (c. 1030-1101) in Psalm 83 as recounted Milton Walsh in Witness of the Saints: Patristic Readings in the Liturgy of the Hours (San Francisco: Ignatius Press, 2012) 566.
Today, let’s focus on the generosity of Jesus Christ. He raises us to beatitude.
When we follow Jesus, it guides us to be be poor in spirit. We often mourn. We walk the path of meekness. We hunger and thirst for righteousness. We are merciful in a merciless world. We aim at purity of heart (not just our actions, but our thoughts and motivations). We bring peace and we will get persecuted.
Hearing all this may cause many to find the Christian journey too hard to make.
But Bruno reminds us as he reminded so many Christ followers in the middle ages: “God does help the blessed” and “He gives abundant gifts of grace” in the most unlikely places. So, as we think about generosity today, revel in the fact that the narrow way raises us to beatitude. It causes us to grasp true happiness.
It’s priceless and a gift we can only share with others once we have taken hold of it ourselves.