In our first reading today from 1 Kings 17, we see yet another example of God providing. God told Elijah to announce to the king that there would be a drought. God then sends the prophet off to a deserted place and commands ravens to bring him bread and meat every morning and evening. In the Gospel reading, we begin Jesus’ great Sermon on the Mount, from Matthew 5. He begins with the beatitudes.
I’d like to go through a quick exercise today where we ask if the beatitudes are playing out in our lives. Meditate for just a moment on the beatitude and the questions that follow.
Blessed are the poor in spirit. Am I poor in spirit? Do I realize my smallness before God?
Blessed are they who mourn. Do I mourn? For what? For my own sinfulness? For my lack of faith?
Blessed are the meek. Am I meek? Is humility a part of my character? Or am I too often overbearing?
Blessed are they who hunger and thirst for righteousness. Am I living a moral life? Do I always strive to do the right thing?
Blessed are the merciful. Do I show mercy to others? Or am I too often harsh and judgemental?
Blessed are the clean of heart. Does my heart seek God’s heart? Or am I just putting on a show on the outside while my heart is full of anger, resentment or hate?
Blessed are the peacemakers. Do I seek peace for all? Or do I pursue or allow conflict, especially to further my own agenda?
Blessed are they who are persecuted for the sake of righteousness. Have I ever been mocked or persecuted for standing up for the least? So I seek justice and right, no matter the cost?
Blessed are you when they insult you and persecute you and utter every kind of evil against you flasely because of me. Am I willing to stand up for and testify to Jesus, even in the face of persecution? Or do I shy away from professing my faith in Him?
These are hard questions, I know. But given Jesus’ words, they are ones we must ask. Let us seek out God’s blessings this day.
Father, help us to live out the beatitudes in our lives every day. We pray for your blessings upon others, and upon us, too. Amen.