Blessed and Honored Before God

Weekly Missionary Reflection
Sunday, 01 November 2020
THE FEAST OF ALL SAINTS

Rev. 7:2-4,9-14; Ps. 24:1-2,3-4ab,5-6; 1John 3:1-3; Matt. 5:1-12a

Beatitude begins the Sermon on the Mount (Matt. 5-7). In the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus is presented as the New Moses giving the new Torah. Jesus appears with dignity and like a Rabbi sitting down delivering official and binding teachings. He begins the reign of God and teaches God’s new people, those are the disciples and crowds (cf. 4: 1-2, 25).

The word “blessed” can also be translated as “honored be you who …” Palestinian society in the first century was structured on a “honor-shame” mentality. In such society, as also in part of our society today, a “respectable” life is a life of wealth, happiness, abundance, high level, lots of friends, etc. The word “be blessed” at the beginning of all these beatitudes should not be seen as command or hope, but a statement. Jesus emphasizes that those who have the following 8 qualities of personality are the people who objectively (not from subjective point of view) are indeed “blessed” or “honorable” in life!

First, Jesus declares “be blessed/honored” those who are poor in spirit. This means: all those who rely and depend on God are declared “blessed” because they can enjoy the fruit of God’s reign that is being presented by Jesus. The second category declared “blessed” are those who mourn. This means: all those who mourn because of being excluded and losing their rights in this world as a result of their faith, will be comforted by God Himself. The third “blessed” category is the meek. In the society full of performance and contest of honor, there is always conflict of honor and dignity. Jesus especially calls blessed on those who are meek, not those who seek for conflict and enmity. They are the ones who deserve honor and abundance in the new earth. The fourth beatitude is sent to those who hunger and thirst for God’s will. This means: those who deeply long for and seek God’s will in their life will be joyful, because God will definitely satisfy their longing of the heart.

The fifth beatitude is sent to those who are merciful. It means: those who love and forgive others will also be loved and forgiven by God. The sixth beatitude is sent to all who are clean of heart, because they will “see God”, meaning: experience the glory of God and His presence. The seventh beatitude is sent to the peacemakers: all who love peace and actively bring peace to all people, including the enemy (cf Matt. 5:44). They will be recognized as the children of God at the end of the age, for their effort in bringing true peace that solely comes from God. And the last, Jesus declares blessed to those who are persecuted for doing God’s will. In suffering they will be blessed for theirs is the Kingdom of Heaven.

It is no coincidence that this text is used on the day of the Feast of All Saints. The lives of the saints are real evidence and example that the demand of the Beatitudes can be brought into practice in our lives, not just lofty ideals that are beautifully proclaimed!

(Hortensio Mandaru – Indonesia Bible Society, Jakarta)

DAILY DEDICATED PRAYER

Lord, our Father, I present my today prayer, thought, word, work, joy and sorrow in the unity with Your Son, Jesus Christ, who always presents Himself in the Eucharist for the world salvation. May the Holy Spirit, as the soul of Jesus, also lead and give me the strength today so that I am ready to be the witness of Your love.

Together with St. Mary, Mother of Jesus and the Church, I specially present my prayer to our Pope and Indonesian Church prayer apostles of this month:

For Evangelization intention:
Artificial intelligence: May all robotic technology advances and artificial intelligence can be controlled for the sake of its noble purpose, that is to serve the human and humanity. We pray …

For Indonesian Churches intention:
For fathers: May all fathers continue to realize their authority and wisdom as the head of the family in the midst of social current that eroding family life today. We pray …

Special Intention:
We present all of the people in our Diocese to willingly fight for the justice in every residence and work. We pray …

Amen

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