The Eight Beatitudes

My last couple of posts have focused on the beatitudes........

The Eight Beatitudes which begin the Sermon on the Mount are amongst the most famous passages in Scripture, but what do they mean? 

They can be mistaken as merely gentle calls to virtue, instead they contain stark warnings for us all that God's agenda is often very different from our own.

The people who came to listen to Jesus  were impatient to know his programme for the messianic kingdom; what were the laws of that kingdom to be? 

But instead of listing them in the manner of the Ten Commandments ("Thou shalt not..."), Jesus described those who followed these precepts as happy, calling them "blessed". 

Tellingly, before teaching his disciples what they should do, Christ tells us what we should be - the end product, as it were, of our lives as Christians.

Just reflecting on these 8 unbroken statements provides a thoughtful wake-up call for us when we become complacent or jaded by routine.

For the beatitudes deal with the deepest things in our lives – our attitudes and our relationship with God.

Consider them the Beautiful Attitudes!

The gospel from Matthew gives us this vision of  those who are blessed

Those who are Poor in Spirit
The Meek 
Those who Mourn
Those who Hunger for Righteousness
The Merciful
The Clean of Heart
The Peacemakers
The Persecuted

My posts this week will continue to focus on each of these.

There is an idea that the 8  The Beatitudes are like rungs on a ladder. Each one leads to the next. Remove any one of them, and you fall off the ladder. 

Find out more on this here.

I think that my posts on the 8 beatitudes this week will culminate in the fulfillment of them all in next Sunday's Gospel Reading on the Woman with the Alabaster Jar. If you want to have a look ahead you can find the readings here.

Another good place to start is to these beautiful artistic depictions of the beatitudes using nature images from Mary Eggart.

Image above St John Climacus

The 8 Beatitudes

 Blessed are the poor in spirit:
 for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

 Blessed are the meek:
ffor they shall inherit the earth.

 Blessed are they who mourn:
ffor they shall be comforted.

 Blessed are they that hunger and thirst after justice:
 for they shall have their fill.

 Blessed are the merciful:
ffor they shall obtain mercy.

 Blessed are the clean of heart:
ffor they shall see God.

 Blessed are the peacemakers:
 for they shall be called the children of God.

 Blessed are they that suffer persecution for justice' sake,
 for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

Just to remind you :

For a beautiful resource click on the link below

In the song The 12 days of Christmas, the eight maids a milking represent the Beatitudes

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