The Beatitudes: Source Of True Happiness

– 4th Sunday in Ordinary Time –

“When Jesus saw the crowds, he went up the mountain; and after he sat down, his disciples came to him. Then he began to speak, and taught them, saying: Blessed are the poor in spirit…”  [Matthew 5:1-3]

I imagine Jesus looking at the crowds willing to offer the best of himself. He could have cured their illnesses or performed a miracle to grant their desires; instead, Jesus gives them something greater. In his great love, compassion and generosity Jesus delivered the key to true happiness in the Beatitudes.

The word Beatitude comes from the Greek word “makarios” which means “blessed”. It has a deeper meaning that implies a profound state of joy and extraordinary happiness; a grace that can only come from God.

What a shocking revelation this must have been, Jesus telling them to be happy despite their lack of resources, health or social status. It is still a shock today as society sells the idea that wealth, power, recognition and the satisfaction of senses is what determines true happiness. How many times have we fallen into the trap of thinking that herein lies the path to happiness?

It helps me to understand the apparent contradiction when I approach the Beatitudes from the perspective of detachment. Today’s Gospel is an invitation for us to detach from things that provide us with a false sense of happiness. Have we become too comfortable with the material, the gratification of the senses, or the achievement of power and honour?

I pray today that God grants us humble, righteous, and merciful hearts. so that we too can find true happiness in the joys, sorrows and challenges of our daily lives.


by Liliana Ortiz

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