The Eight Beatitudes,
Engraving by Hendrick Goltzius (1558–1617),
Published in 1578,
Engraving on paper
© Metropolitan Museum, New York

The Eight Beatitudes,
Engraving by Hendrick Goltzius (1558–1617),
Published in 1578,
Engraving on paper
© Metropolitan Museum, New York

Gospel of 12 June 2023

Jesus went up the hill, and taught: happy are those...

Matthew 5:1-12

Seeing the crowds, Jesus went up the hill. There he sat down and was joined by his disciples. Then he began to speak. This is what he taught them:

'How happy are the poor in spirit;  theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

Happy the gentle:  they shall have the earth for their heritage.

Happy those who mourn: they shall be comforted.

Happy those who hunger and thirst for what is right:  they shall be satisfied.

Happy the merciful: they shall have mercy shown them.

Happy the pure in heart: they shall see God.

Happy the peacemakers: they shall be called sons of God.

Happy those who are persecuted in the cause of right: theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

'Happy are you when people abuse you and persecute you and speak all kinds of calumny against you on my account. Rejoice and be glad, for your reward will be great in heaven: this is how they persecuted the prophets before you.'

Reflection on the engraving

Jesus knows that, deep down in each of us, our greatest desire is to be happy. We long for a deep, permanent happiness. However, we often just settle for more immediate moments of temporary happiness provided by the world. Jesus in this reading wants us to seek eternal happiness. In order to achieve that, he gave us the Beatitudes as a clear roadmap. Jesus is giving us a portrait of ideal discipleship. And we desire what Jesus wants of us, and deep down we know that we want it. Who would not want to be a peacemaker, or merciful or pure in heart!

Our engraving from 1578 by Hendrick Golzius depicts the Beatitudes in the borders, with in each corner a depiction of one of the the Four Evangelists. The central scene is Jesus delivering the Sermon on the Mount. Just in the one engraving Golzius manages to visualise Jesus' teaching, using everyday life scenes to illustrate the Beatitudes.

As Jesus didn't just list these 'happy are's', but actually lived them throughout his life, he communicates here his own interior landscape and heart. The Beatitudes can shape us and reconfigure our interior lives. On 6 January 2016 Pope Francis said: 'This is the new law, the one we call 'the Beatitudes'. It's the Lord's new law for us… the roadmap for Christian life which gives us the indications to move forward on the right path.'

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Laura
Member
Laura(@ldanielleh)
8 months ago

Mark, you continue to be in my prayers… I missed our own procession which I would have liked to see yesterday, but Corpus Christi is one of those feast days that makes me very proud to be Catholic. What a gift we have in the Eucharist.

Mark Crain
Member
Mark Crain(@mark_crain)
8 months ago
Reply to  Laura

Thank you Laura. I love you, my sister in Christ. Mark

Mark Crain
Member
Mark Crain(@mark_crain)
8 months ago

Peace be with you all in the CA community.
Those who mourn, the peacemakers, the merciful, the pure in heart, those poor in spirit.. Sweet Jesus, how I need your encouragement today.

Rya Lucas
Member
Rya Lucas(@katteliekemeissie)
8 months ago
Reply to  Mark Crain

Mark, I feel so sorry for you. I’ve experienced it myself and I know that this grief is so breath-taking that you have the feeling to suffocate. Go to Jesus, He’ll understand all our griefs and He will comfort you and gives you strength. Promise me one thing: don’t bear a grudge… that will only ruin your life…!
You know Christ the Redeemer. He is waiting for you with open arms, cling to Him, cry with Him; He’ll cry with you … He loves you so much that He feels the same sorrow as you. A sorrow shared is a sorrow halved. I, and all of the CA-family, pray for you on a daily basis. You wil overcome, I’m sure. God bless you and Jesus holds you in His loving arms.

Christus de Verlosser in Rio.jpg
Mark Crain
Member
Mark Crain(@mark_crain)
8 months ago
Reply to  Rya Lucas

My dear Rya, How your words touch my soul. “Suffocate.” You have shared this feeling. I am praying to maintain some semblance of self-control. I know how Jesus is telling to me act. I just do not know if I am strong enough to put a guard over my mouth. Anger, rage, bitterness…
I know you are right about bearing a grudge. I will try. With your help and clinging to Jesus, I am trying. God bless you. Mark

Chazbo M
Member
Chazbo M(@chazbo)
8 months ago

What an excellent story from John Hobbs yesterday! My story is quite similar but I am a fair bit older than him. If John reads this I will give the bare bones of my returning to the faith story…

Patricia O'Brien
Member
Patricia O'Brien(@marispiper)
8 months ago

I ‘favourite’ many of the art works each day and have them as the ‘wallpaper’ on my laptop which lifts my spirits each time I open the device. Currently I have the mosaic, The Widow’s Mite. Wonderful – it fills the whole screen.

Patricia O'Brien
Member
Patricia O'Brien(@marispiper)
8 months ago

I read a little while ago that the Beatitudes are specific and we should not think of them as a list to strive for; but look for the one (or more) that will use me, my character and my God given talents and ask the Holy Spirit to nudge me to action.

Mark Crain
Member
Mark Crain(@mark_crain)
8 months ago

A nice insight! Thank you.

Chazbo M
Member
Chazbo M(@chazbo)
8 months ago

The most moving words in all the Gospels surely? Some have said that the Beatitudes are the very essence of Christianity.
Our Corpus Christi plans went up in smoke, or maybe steam, as my wife collapsed at the parish party and we ended up in A&E (four hour wait). Heat exhaustion basically.
So the Corpus Christi procession will have to wait until next year.

Patricia O'Brien
Member
Patricia O'Brien(@marispiper)
8 months ago
Reply to  Chazbo M

Oh Chazbo…poor lady. The heat gets to us without realising. Please God with rest and hydration today she will feel much better.

Chazbo M
Member
Chazbo M(@chazbo)
8 months ago

Thank you so much for those comments. It is the first time she has attended a Catholic beano for quite a while (she is not religious) and she won’t be back for a bit she says! We were having a goodbye party for our assistant priest in the school playground which is tarmaced and was radiating heat upwards.

spaceforgrace
Member
spaceforgrace(@spaceforgrace)
8 months ago
Reply to  Chazbo M

Sorry to read this Charles- hope your wife is restored to health soon. We all need to take care, drink plenty (not that sort of drink haha) and stay in the shade if we can.
Corpus Christi isn’t just about one day, and God saw your effort to attend. Take care.

Chazbo M
Member
Chazbo M(@chazbo)
8 months ago
Reply to  spaceforgrace

Thank you so much for your kind concern 🙂

marleen de vlieghere
Member
marleen de vlieghere(@marleen)
8 months ago
Reply to  Chazbo M

I wish Best for you both!

Mark Crain
Member
Mark Crain(@mark_crain)
8 months ago
Reply to  Chazbo M

I am so sorry to hear this. Please keep me updated on her condition. Blessings, Mark

spaceforgrace
Member
spaceforgrace(@spaceforgrace)
8 months ago

Such a familiar reading-yet also such a neglected one. I have nothing to add to your reflection Patrick I shall try to be a good disciple today, with God’s help.

Chazbo M
Member
Chazbo M(@chazbo)
8 months ago
Reply to  spaceforgrace

I’ve never quite understood what ‘poor in spirit’ means. Humble? Lack of spiritual pride? Which Basil Hume called one of the most serious of sins.

Patricia O'Brien
Member
Patricia O'Brien(@marispiper)
8 months ago
Reply to  Chazbo M

I have always understood ‘poor in spirit’ to mean that we recognise our need for God, and realise we can’t do anything without him. Same as Jesus telling us he’s The Divine Physician – in response I would say “I’m sick” !!

spaceforgrace
Member
spaceforgrace(@spaceforgrace)
8 months ago

Good answer Patricia- I guess it isn’t referring to the Holy Spirit at all, but those spirits which plummet in times of stress. All I can say is I never knew what it meant until I had no resources of my own left, and turned to Him. Maybe you need to have been there to really undertstand what it means. At the time you feel bereft, but later you realise what has come into your life as a result of it. God is good.

Mark Crain
Member
Mark Crain(@mark_crain)
8 months ago
Reply to  spaceforgrace

Paul sheds light on this question in today’s reading from 2 Cor: “…if we are afflicted, it is for your encouragement and salvation.”

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