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THE BEATITUDES:

THE GREATEST HOMILY OF ALL TIME

 

 

Commonly referred in the Gospel according to St Matthew (5:3-12) as the "Sermon on the Mount," the Gospel according to St Luke (6:20-49) refers to it as "Sermon on the Plain."

 

The Beatitudes (from the Latin word "beatitudo," meaning happiness) is the beginning portion of the Sermon on the Mount of the Gospel of Matthew. Some are also recorded in the Gospel of Luke. In the section, Jesus describes the qualities of the inhabitants of the Kingdom of Heaven and indicates how each is or will be blessed.

 

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THE 8 BEATITUDES

 

WHAT ARE THE BEATITUDES?

 

 

Paragraph 1716 of the Catechism of the Catholic Church, echoing the Gospel according to St Matthew (see under New American Bible references), shares that the Beatitudes are at the heart of Jesus' preaching. They take up the promises made to the chosen people since Abraham. The Beatitudes fulfill the promises by ordering them no longer merely to the possession of a territory, but to the Kingdom of heaven:

 

 

1-Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

2-Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.

3-Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth.

4-Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied.

5-Blessed are the merciful, for they shall obtain mercy.

6-Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.

7-Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God.

8-Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness' sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are you when men revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account. Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven.

 

note: Due to the 2011 revisions to the New American Bible, the Catechism of the Catholic Church 2d Edition reference does not reflect the same wording as listed in the Holy Scriptures. New American Bible references with accurate Scripture wording appear below.

 

THE BEATITUDES PRESENT

 

IN BOTH MATTHEW AND LUKE

 

The Poor

Matthew has 'poor in spirit.'

 

Luke has 'poor.'

 

Both texts say that the Kingdom is theirs.

 

Mourners/Weeping

Matthew says the mourners will be comforted.

 

Luke says those who weep will laugh.

 

The Hungry

Matthew has those who 'hunger and thirst for righteousness' will be blessed.

 

Luke has 'blessed are you who are now hungry.'

 

Both texts say they will be satisfied.

 

Those Persecuted for seeking Righteousness

Matthew says that those persecuted, hated and insulted because of Jesus are blessed.

 

Luke says that those who are hated, excluded and insulted as followers of the Son of Man are blessed.

 

Both texts say they are to rejoice, for their 'reward will be great in Heaven.'

 

THE BEATITUDES ONLY PRESENT IN MATTHEW

 

The Meek

The text says that 'they will inherit the land.'

 

The Merciful

The text says that 'they will be shown mercy.'

 

The Clean of Heart

The text says that 'they will see God.'

 

The Peacemakers

The text says that 'they will be called the children of God.'

 

NEW AMERICAN BIBLE

 

REFERENCES

 

Matthew 4:17

"From that time on, Jesus began to preach and say, "Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand."

 

Matthew 5:3-12

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

Blessed are they who mourn, for they will be comforted.

Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the land.

Blessed are they who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be satisfied.

Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy.

Blessed are the clean of heart, for they will see God.

Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God.

Blessed are they who are persecuted for the sake of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

Blessed are you when they insult you and persecute you and utter every kind of evil against you (falsely) because of me. Rejoice and be glad, for your reward will be great in heaven. Thus they persecuted the prophets who were before you.

 

Luke 20-49

And raising his eyes toward his disciples he said:

 

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

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

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

Blessed are you when people hate you, and when they exclude and insult you, and denounce your name as evil on account of the Son of Man. Rejoice and leap for joy on that day! Behold, your reward will be great in heaven. For their ancestors treated the prophets in the same way.

 

"But woe to you who are rich, for you have received your consolation. But woe to you who are filled now, for you will be hungry. Woe to you who laugh now, for you will grieve and weep. Woe to you when all speak well of you, for their ancestors treated the false prophets in this way.

 

"But to you who hear I say, love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you. To the person who strikes you on one cheek, offer the other one as well, and from the person who takes your cloak, do not withhold even your tunic. Give to everyone who asks of you, and from the one who takes what is yours do not demand it back. Do to others as you would have them do to you.

 

"For if you love those who love you, what credit is that to you? Even sinners love those who love them. And if you do good to those who do good to you, what credit is that to you? Even sinners do the same. If you lend money to those from whom you expect repayment, what credit (is) that to you? Even sinners lend to sinners, and get back the same amount. But rather, love your enemies and do good to them, and lend expecting nothing back; then your reward will be great and you will be children of the Most High, for he himself is kind to the ungrateful and the wicked. Be merciful, just as (also) your Father is merciful.

 

"Stop judging and you will not be judged. Stop condemning and you will not be condemned. Forgive and you will be forgiven. Give and gifts will be given to you; a good measure, packed together, shaken down, and overflowing, will be poured into your lap. For the measure with which you measure will in return be measured out to you." And he told them a parable, "Can a blind person guide a blind person? Will not both fall into a pit? No disciple is superior to the teacher; but when fully trained, every disciple will be like his teacher.

 

"Why do you notice the splinter in your brother's eye, but do not perceive the wooden beam in your own? How can you say to your brother, 'Brother, let me remove that splinter in your eye,' when you do not even notice the wooden beam in your own eye? You hypocrite! Remove the wooden beam from your eye first; then you will see clearly to remove the splinter in your brother's eye.

 

"A good tree does not bear rotten fruit, nor does a rotten tree bear good fruit. For every tree is known by its own fruit. For people do not pick figs from thornbushes, nor do they gather grapes from brambles. A good person out of the store of goodness in his heart produces good, but an evil person out of a store of evil produces evil; for from the fullness of the heart the mouth speaks.

 

"Why do you call me, 'Lord, Lord,' but not do what I command? I will show you what someone is like who comes to me, listens to my words, and acts on them. That one is like a person building a house, who dug deeply and laid the foundation on rock; when the flood came, the river burst against that house but could not shake it because it had been well built. But the one who listens and does not act is like a person who built a house on the ground without a foundation. When the river burst against it, it collapsed at once and was completely destroyed."

 

Matthew 13:3-23 (Parable of the Sower)

And he spoke to them at length in parables, 2 saying: "A sower went out to sow. 3 And as he sowed, some seed fell on the path, and birds came and ate it up. Some fell on rocky ground, where it had little soil. It sprang up at once because the soil was not deep, and when the sun rose it was scorched, and it withered for lack of roots. Some seed fell among thorns, and the thorns grew up and choked it. But some seed fell on rich soil, and produced fruit, a hundred or sixty or thirtyfold. Whoever has ears ought to hear."

 

The disciples approached him and said, "Why do you speak to them in parables?" 4 He said to them in reply, "Because knowledge of the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven has been granted to you, but to them it has not been granted.

 

To anyone who has, more will be given 5 and he will grow rich; from anyone who has not, even what he has will be taken away. 6 This is why I speak to them in parables, because 'they look but do not see and hear but do not listen or understand.'

 

Isaiah's prophecy is fulfilled in them, which says: 'You shall indeed hear but not understand you shall indeed look but never see. Gross is the heart of this people, they will hardly hear with their ears, they have closed their eyes, lest they see with their eyes and hear with their ears and understand with their heart and be converted, and I heal them.' 7 "But blessed are your eyes, because they see, and your ears, because they hear. Amen, I say to you, many prophets and righteous people longed to see what you see but did not see it, and to hear what you hear but did not hear it.

 

8 "Hear then the parable of the sower. The seed sown on the path is the one who hears the word of the kingdom without understanding it, and the evil one comes and steals away what was sown in his heart. The seed sown on rocky ground is the one who hears the word and receives it at once with joy. But he has no root and lasts only for a time. When some tribulation or persecution comes because of the word, he immediately falls away. The seed sown among thorns is the one who hears the word, but then worldly anxiety and the lure of riches choke the word and it bears no fruit. But the seed sown on rich soil is the one who hears the word and understands it, who indeed bears fruit and yields a hundred or sixty or thirtyfold."

 

Hebrews 4:6-11

Therefore, since it remains that some will enter into it, and those who formerly received the good news did not enter because of disobedience, he once more set a day, "today," when long afterwards he spoke through David, as already quoted: "Oh, that today you would hear his voice: 'Harden not your hearts.'" Now if Joshua had given them rest, he would not have spoken afterwards of another day. Therefore, a sabbath rest still remains for the people of God. And whoever enters into God's rest, rests from his own works as God did from his. Therefore, let us strive to enter into that rest, so that no one may fall after the same example of disobedience.

 

2 Peter 1:4

Through these, he has bestowed on us the precious and very great promises, so that through them you may come to share in the divine nature, after escaping from the corruption that is in the world because of evil desire.

 

John 17:13

But now I am coming to you. I speak this in the world so that they may share my joy completely.

 

Romans 8:18

4 I consider that the sufferings of this present time are as nothing compared with the glory to be revealed for us.

 

Isaiah 51:7-8

Hear me, you who know justice, you people who have my teaching at heart: Fear not the reproach of men, be not dismayed at their revilings. They shall be like a garment eaten by moths, like wool consumed by grubs; But my justice shall remain forever and my salvation, for all generations.

 

Psalm 24:3-5

3 you restore my strength. You guide me along the right path for the sake of your name. 4 Even when I walk through a dark valley, I fear no harm for you are at my side; your rod and staff give me courage. 5 You set a table before me as my enemies watch; You anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows.

 

CATECHISM OF THE CATHOLIC CHURCH

 

(C C C) REFERENCES

 

 

Part Three

Life in Christ

Section One

Man's Vocation Life In the Spirit

Chapter One

The Dignity of the Human Person

Article 2

Our Vocation to Beatitude

 

I. THE BEATITUDES (1716-1729)

 

CATECHISM OF THE CATHOLIC CHURCH 1716-1729

 

Catechism of the Catholic Church Index References

 

attaining divine beatitude through Baptism, 1257;

and the desire for happiness, 1718, 2548;

effects of, 1721;

free gift of God, 1720-22, 1727;

God as our, 257, 1731, 1855;

hope and eternal, 1818;

human person destined for eternal, 1700, 1703, 1711, 1769, 1818, 1934, 2548;

man's vocation to, 1700, 1934;

sin turns man away from God and from His, 1855, 1863, 1874, 1949.

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