Major countries have constitutions. The constitutions help the countries live in order, peacefully. The Kingdom of God also has a constitution, it’s the Sermon on the Mount.
If we live according to Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount, and the Beatitudes, the world will hate us. Do you know anyone who lives the Beatitudes in their daily life?
Those who live the Beatitudes faithfully will not be passive, but active. Those who are faithful to Jesus’ Beatitudes will run afoul of the world. Ask the Apostles and Martyrs. They refused to follow the official religions and guidelines of the world.
The world attempts to teach us its “gospel values”. We encounter these all the time, like popular myths, given as “wisdom”. We need to recognize these myths and not let them become equivalent to the Beatitudes. For example, many believe that the Bible teaches that, “God helps those who help themselves.” It is a notion of the importance of self-help, often used to excuse one from the obligation to personal charity or care for the poor. That phrase is nowhere in Holy Scripture. The phrase has been attributed to Ben Franklin, but it originated in ancient pagan literature. It is not a Christian teaching.
Another example is the phrase, “Why can’t we all just get along?” As if this were virtuous. Don’t speak up about injustice. Just keep your opinions to yourself. That is not scriptural or Christian teaching.
In the New Testament Letter of St. James, the Apostle teaches,
Unfaithful! Do you not know that to be a lover of the world means enmity with God? Therefore, whoever wants to be a lover of the world makes himself an enemy of God.
There can be no compromise between God and the world. This is our Christian Faith. We can’t have it both ways. If we are to be faithful Christians, we must learn how-to live-in God’s Kingdom. The Beatitudes are Jesus’ rules for living in the Kingdom of God.
All over the US today the Catholic Church is Marching for Life, against abortion and euthanasia. In Austin, Sister Olga led a group from our parish in the March for Life with our Bishop and other Pro-Life leaders. We have a very active Pro-Life/Pro-Family ministry here at Sacred Heart Parish. The Marchers today encountered a lot of people protesting our stand and values Jesus taught in the Beatitudes,
Blessed are they who hunger and thirst for righteousness,
for they will be satisfied.
Blessed are the merciful,
for they will be shown mercy.
The Church speaks up for mercy for the unborn child and the vulnerable members of our human community.
Last night there were terrible videos of a brutal police beating of a black man. That man died. However, the world’s voice took over calling it a “Racist event”, and calling out violent protesters across the nation. It was not a racist event. Anyone who saw the video saw the police were all black, like the victim. It appeared to be violent police abuse, but not racist. There were no white people involved. But the voices in the world, including many in the press describing racist violence. Justice says it was not racist. It was abusive violence. What is our role?
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.
We are called to righteousness. We are called to defend the poor. We are called to be peacemakers. We must be wary when the world lies to us to bend us to their agendas. We must be meek and learn to trust the Lord, but not turn our backs on our brothers and sisters in need.
We are called to humility, meekness and to Trust God more than ourselves. But we are called to hunger and thirst for righteousness for we will be satisfied. Ours is an active, not a passive role in God’s Kingdom.