The Beatitudes as path to holiness
Fourth Sunday in Ordinary Time
Homily by Fr. Roy Cimagala
It’s amazing that Christ would consider as blessed those conditions when we appear to be the receiving end of all the injustices and unfairness we can encounter in our life. That’s what the Beatitudes express. (cfr. Mt 5,1-12)
That’s because the Beatitudes describe the way Christ lived his life on earth and carried out his mission of saving us. We have to remember that Christ is the model and standard of how we ought to be. He is the pattern of our humanity. What he lived through, we should be ready to do the same.
The Beatitudes express the whole extent of how love and mercy should be, which is the very essence of God as well as ours. It’s a love that is willing to drown evil with an abundance of good. It’s a love that is willing to bear all things, conquer all things. (cfr. 1 Cor 13,7)
The beatitudes are actually Christ’s way of telling us how to be realistic about our life here on earth, marked with all kinds of negative things which can actually be converted into our pathways to heaven, to our eternal joy and the fullness of life. The secret is to follow the example of Christ. We can only understand and live the beatitudes if we have the very spirit of Christ.
We have to realize that the beatitudes actually expand our understanding of what would comprise as our true happiness and of what genuine love is by including those situations which we normally regard as unsavory and therefore to be avoided as much as possible and hated.
We need to study well the content and spirit behind the beatitudes by looking closely at the example of Christ. There we will have the reassurance that all the suffering and sacrifices that we have to go through, and the effort that we have to make in this life would be all worth it.
And to be sure, we can live those beatitudes, because Christ himself would give us all the necessary graces. We just have to train ourselves in the appropriate attitudes, skills and virtues. If we can manage to have the very mind of Christ, which is doable since Christ has already given us all the means, we can hack it. Yes, we can live the Beatitudes!
We have to learn to be patient, which is an integral part of the virtue of fortitude that in the end can only be animated by genuine charity. We have to be ready when we are bombarded with worldly goods that can take us away from God, cool down our piety, and lead us to sin.
Or when we cannot help but mourn not only because of the death of someone but also because of some failure we commit or a misery we cannot shake off. Or when we get misunderstood and provoked in our daily exchanges of ideas and opinions with others. Or when we have to rein in our curiosity and raging hormones to keep our heart pure and in its proper orientation toward God.
Let’s always remember the Beatitudes, and continually ask for the grace to believe and live them to the hilt. Christ’s promises cannot be frustrated. We have to strengthen our faith in his word. And start to live calmly, oozing with confidence and focused on what really matters in life!
The beatitudes should always be in our mind, heart and lips!