Baptism Justice and Beatitudes

From today's first reading on the Feast of the Baptism of The Lord. 
See today's previous posts here, here and here
Thus says the LORD:
Here is my servant whom I uphold,
my chosen one with whom I am pleased,
upon whom I have put my spirit;
he shall bring forth justice to the nations,
not crying out, not shouting,
not making his voice heard in the street.
a bruised reed he shall not break,
and a smoldering wick he shall not quench,
until he establishes justice on the earth;
the coastlands will wait for his teaching.

I, the LORD, have called you for the victory of justice,
I have grasped you by the hand;
I formed you, and set you
as a covenant of the people,
a light for the nations,
to open the eyes of the blind,
to bring out prisoners from confinement,
and from the dungeon, those who live in darkness. (Is 42:1-4, 6-7)

This is a lovely presentation on the Beatitudes from the Orthodox Church :
the very essence of the Gospels and Christ's teachings on what His justice means. Source here

 A couple of alternatively worded versions of The Beatitudes

Blessed are those who seek more authentic ways 
of being Church in the world today;
They are my witnesses. 
Blessed are those who strive to live 'in communion' 
in their endeavours to build community;
They are my people.
Blessed are those who struggle for justice 
within oppressive structures;
They are my prophets in today's world.
Blessed are those who strive to live according to my Gospel 
rather than societal values;
They are my heralds in this land.
Blessed are those whose hearts are bent on serving,
rather than being served;
They are my true servants. 
Blessed are those in whose hearts my law is written;
They are my friends. 
Blessed are those who seek humility and act with integrity
as the Church's mission is redefined 
and the call to partnership is heeded;
They are my stewards.
Blessed are those whose ministry is of healing
and reconciliation in a broken and fragile world;
They are my peacemakers.

from Australian Pallottines

Blessed are the strange, the weird, the people we laugh at, those who do not fit our mold, especially the socially wretched and despised. By their presence in our lives, they expand our reality—on our part, reluctantly and on theirs, so painfully—by forcing us to look at them in the hope that we see the God in them.

Blessed are the depressed and the addicted for they are called upon to demonstrate the healing miracles of God through their own awakening.

Blessed are the broken, those who fail, those who fall below our expectations for they are asked to show the rest of us that not being perfect is part of the human condition—that accepting our imperfection is the first step in our realization of the divine perfection of all that is.

Blessed are the nameless, the faceless the dispossessed—the refugees, the homeless and the poor for they point us to the way to compassion. By their sheer numbers, they tell us that ultimately, the experience of compassion is inescapable.

Blessed are the cruel, the calloused and uncaring, for on some deep unconscious level, they choose to delay their own liberation so that others may be ‘enlightened’ by their example.

Blessed are those who arouse us to anger, who bring out the worst in us, for they force us out of the denial that we harbor within—that we are hooked on them, that they resonate with something hidden inside us, and to break free, we must let go of our misguided moral superiority.
Blessed are those who cause us to suffer repeatedly by their mistakes, for they are our tutors who spend valuable time so that we learn our lessons well.

Blessed are those who do not seem to have a life, and especially those who do not have a choice—those who are physically debilitated, paralyzed or in a coma and cannot move, for they bring us a message that is lost in this age of frenzy—that to be worthy of God's love, we need not strive to do or achieve anything, but simply be.

Blessed are all of us, for whatever condition we find ourselves in, we can choose to remember our true nature, our original blessing, our timeless
grace—anytime, any place, and always—and be happy in our Oneness.

from ‘Between Blinks--More Random Takes on Everything’ by Jim Paredes

What happens to a dream deferred?
Does it dry up
Like a raisin in the sun?
Or fester like a sore—
And then run?
Does it stink like rotten meat?
Or crust and sugar over—
Like a syrupy sweet?

Maybe it just sags
Like a heavy load.

Or does it explode?
 Langston Hughes

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