Lent Devotions 2019 – Day 36

REFLECT – Day 36:

Well, it’s been quite the journey but we are moving into our final exploration from “The Beatitudes”. Maybe take a little bit of time to review how you have found the blessings that we have looked at so far. Have you been making notes, trying the ACT sections of the devotions? What has been most helpful? 

For the final time we return to Matthew 5:1-12. 

I wonder if we are greeting it as on old friend, or if we are reluctant to enter this familiar place again. It’s been a great base from which to explore, so let’s read the passage again with gratitude for all we’ve learned and with willingness to continue to learn.

Who is Jesus?

Jesus is poor in spirit, mourning, hungry for justice, humble, ready to  forgive, full of integrity and a peacemaker. 

There is one other key quality in his life: the readiness to suffer for what is right is the cornerstone of his ministry. Jesus is willing to bear the cost of proclaiming the good news. Jesus is willing to die for the sins of the whole world to bring mercy and peace, wholeness and justice. 

This is the only beatitude to be expanded in two verses of commentary which fill out its meaning (verses 11 and 12 – sometimes read as a ninth beatitude). 

The gospels unfold for us the ways in which Jesus faced opposition and insult from the very beginning of his ministry, especially in the story of his passion which Christians remember each year in Holy Week. 

It is this willingness to suffer that reshapes the world. 

Still your mind. Take time to listen to the words of Jesus and repeat them several times with the rhythm of your breathing:

‘Blessed are those who suffer persecution for righteousness’ sake, for theirs in the kingdom of heaven.’

Reflect today on this last beatitude and on the commentary in verses 11 and 12 as you contemplate the passion of Jesus.