Father Matthew Kaderabek, LC
saw the crowds, he went up the mountain, and
after he had sat down, his disciples came to him.
He began to teach them, saying: "Blessed are the
poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of
heaven. Blessed are they who mourn, for they will be
comforted. Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit
the land. Blessed are they who hunger and thirst
for righteousness, for they will be satisfied. Blessed are the
merciful, for they will be shown mercy. Blessed are
the clean of heart, for they will see God.
Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children
of God. Blessed are they who are persecuted for
the sake of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom
of heaven. Blessed are you when they insult you and
persecute you and utter every kind of evil against
you falsely because of me. Rejoice and be glad,
for your reward will be great in heaven. Thus they
persecuted the prophets who were before you."
Prayer:Father of love, source of all blessings, you have
led me throughout my life, and you lead me still.
Thank you for your paternal care. Jesus, Son of
God, you died for me on the cross to pay
for my sins and manifest your unconditional love for
me. Thank you for showing me the way home
to the Father. Holy Spirit, sweet guest of the soul,
you heal me and strengthen me and set me
on fire from the most intimate depths of my soul.
Thank you for your loving presence within me.
Jesus, help me to love your beatitudes and adopt them
as my standard for life.
1. A Mountain as a
Cathedra: Let’s imagine ourselves that memorable day, sitting with
the multitudes on a sunny mountainside overlooking the Sea
of Galilee. Jesus is preaching to the crowd from
below, using the steep incline as a natural amphitheater. The
soft breeze coming off the water and running up
the hillside seems to carry his gentle voice to
all of the hundreds of anxious listeners. We are impressed
that the Teacher, despite the fact that he is
authoritatively delivering a strong message, seems so happy and
full of peace. He exudes an interior freedom that
allows him to devote himself entirely to serving God and
others. The world seems to have no hold on
him. Listening to Jesus we are drawn to exclaim, “This
man knows what he is talking about." He knows
what heaven is like. He knows firsthand that heavenly
blessedness far outstrips any worldly happiness I could imagine.”
Going Against the Current: It could feel like we
have just heard the most powerful sermon ever delivered, and
yet it will take us a while to digest
it all. It was absolutely counter-cultural, even shocking. And
yet, as challenging as it was, it all seemed to
ring true in our hearts. Jesus boldly proposed to
us in the Sermon on the Mount a fresh, new
roadmap to true happiness and blessedness. All of us
have a deep desire to be happy and live
in peace, and we had thought before that we had
it all figured out. But Jesus’ ways are the
very opposite of the ways of the world. He scorns
all false beatitudes which make happiness depend on self-expression,
license, having a good time, or an attitude of
“Eat, drink, and be merry for tomorrow you shall
die.” He knows that the results of these false beatitudes
are mental disorders, unhappiness, false hopes, fears and anxieties.
3. Contrasting Solutions: As the keys to success and
happiness, the world often proposes to us one or more
of the seven deadly sins. We hear the catchwords:
“security,” “revenge,” “laughter,” “popularity,” “getting even,” “sex,” “armed might,”
and “comfort.” Jesus, without batting an eyelash, just turned
all of these shallow ideals on their head, calling
them all a dead end. He bravely challenged the spirit
of the world — accepting the fact that such
a move would make him very unpopular with some,
and even seal his fate at Calvary. In place of
the worldly pleasure route, he offered us a better
way, the only way to true blessedness, as expressed
in the Beatitudes, one that he himself would walk until
the day he died for us. Perhaps these words
ring true in my heart…, but am I prepared to
cut the strings that keep me running after the
Conversation with Christ: Dear Lord Jesus,
you dwell in heaven with all your blessed ones.
You have called me to be holy. You have called
me to be a saint, blessed and happy. Enlighten
my mind today to know where true happiness lies.
Grant that I may desire only this true happiness and
reject all deceiving imitations that the world throws my
Resolution: I will get myself back on
track to true happiness by getting to the sacrament
of confession this week.