Vocation Meditation - <br />February 14, 2010 > Vocations.ca

Vocation Meditation -
February 14, 2010

Jesus came down with the twelve and stood on a level place, with a great crowd of his disciples and a great multitude of people from all Judea, Jerusalem, and the coast of Tyre and Sidon.

Then Jesus looked up at his disciples and said:

"Blessed are you who are poor, for yours is the kingdom of God.

Blessed are you who are hungry now, for you will be filled.

Blessed are you who weep now, for you will laugh.

Blessed are you when people hate you, and when they exclude you, revile you, and defame you on account of the Son of Man. Rejoice in that day and leap for joy for surely your reward is great in heaven; for that is what their ancestors did to the prophets.

But woe to you who are full now, for you will be hungry.

Woe to you who are laughing now, for you will mourn and weep.

Woe to you when all speak well of you, for that is what their ancestors did to the false Prophets."

The Beatitudes were proclaimed by Jesus right after he chose the Twelve! He chose them as His first friends, first disciples and apostles to be sent out for a mission. In Luke, Jesus looked at them while he proclaimed His sermon to the multitudes, a sermon which is central and official in His teachings. What are the beatitudes for Christ?

They are not simple statements, they are exclamations. They speak of a God-like joy.

They are not pious hopes of what shall be. They are congratulations on what is that they live now. The blessedness which belongs to His followers is not a blessedness which is postponed to some future world of glory. It is a blessedness which exists here and now.

It is not something into which Christians will enter; it is something into which they have entered. It is the present reality to be enjoyed here and now. Earthly joys cannot possess it.

The very core of the Beatitudes is the statement of radiant gladness in the cause for life: to struggle for peace, for love, for justice and for truth. Life lived this way must see a purpose in Christ. In this light, a passive and gloomy Christianity is unthinkable!

The Beatitudes speak then, of that joy which seeks us through pain, that joy which sorrow, loss, pain and grief are powerless to touch. It is that Christian joy which shines through tears and which nothing in life or death can take away. It will find its fullness and consummation in the presence of God.

Pope Benedicts reminds us: "We live a joy that does not forget suffering, on the contrary, it includes it." (Feb. 11, 2010).

When Jesus looked at His disciples in His first Sermon, He meant to launch them out to the world with these promises: to be fearless, to face constant difficulties and yet, to be absurdly happy in His name!

Vocation Challenge:
"Blessed are you..."
Where does my deepest joy reside?

Dear God,
Jesus called His disciples, blessed. Their credentials, believers sent in Your name. Their future, the unknown path of troubles and difficulties. Their reward, serene joy on earth and forever in the next. Make me fearless and always trusting. In You, I find meaning and purpose in life. In Jesus, I will walk the way of the beatitudes. Amen.

For the full Gospel reading for this Sunday, visit the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops site.

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