Are you happy? Happiness is the great question confronting mankind. The whole world is longing for happiness. We are in an age when we are constantly being enticed by vain and empty illusions of happiness especially through media. God wants us to find and experience happiness with Him and through Him. Possessions, authority, and money are not important to Him or His kingdom. What matters is faith, love, trust, and obedience to God from the true heart! So, do you really want to be happy?
Our Gospel reading this week is the Sermon on the Mount – the Beatitudes. The message we should consider, deals with the inner state of mind and heart which is an absolute necessity of a true disciple, which we are called to be. Jesus gave us the Beatitudes as a code of ethics and standard of conduct for all believers. They contrast kingdom values with worldly values; they contrast the superficial faith with real faith. The Beatitudes are not multiple choices – pick one and leave the rest. They must be taken as a whole. They describe what we should be like as Christ followers. We are partners with Christ. We need to be little Christs.
Each of the Beatitudes describes a life-style which leads us to blessed (happy), true Christian living in partnership with Christ, along with the graces of God!
Blessed (Happy) are the poor in spirit (humbled by the graces of God), for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. (Poor contrasted with proud and haughty in spirit)
Blessed (Happy) are they who mourn (grieve of sin – seek the light), for they will be comforted. (Mourn contrasted with seeking darkness)
Blessed (Happy) are the meek (mild mannered before God), for they will inherit the land. (Meek contrasted with harsh)
Blessed (Happy) are they who hunger and thirst for righteousness (your soul has a deep longing for Gods will), for they will be satisfied. (Righteousness contrasted with completely wrong)
Blessed (Happy) are the merciful (the believer does not show mercy in order to obtain mercy, he shows mercy because he obtained mercy), for they will be shown mercy. (Merciful contrasted with disfavor)
Blessed (Happy) are the clean of heart (Holy), for they will see God. (Dark, hard hearted)
Blessed (Happy) are the peacemakers (At peace with God and all men and women), for they will be called children of God. (Peacemaker contrasted with hostile)
Blessed (Happy) are they who are persecuted for the sake of righteousness (driven/chased away in order to live effectively with God), for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
Blessed (Happy) are you when they insult you and persecute you and utter every kind of evil against you [falsely] because of me. (Usually great suffering or death) Rejoice and be glad, for your reward will be great in heaven. Thus they persecuted the prophets who were before you.
Receive the beatitudes as Gods deep love for us, love God back with all your heart and with gratitude. Actively following the beatitudes, leads you to ultimate and lasting happiness for eternity. God truly wants that for all of us. Set aside time daily to pray as to how to avoid being caught up in the things of this world, and pay sufficient attention to the things of God. We are called to this way of life! God Bless!