When Jesus saw the crowds, he went up the mountain, and after he had sat down, his disciples came to him. He began to teach them, saying: “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.”
Your reward will be great in heaven. Jesus promises reward for those who are transformed according to his sayings in the Beatitudes. Being poor in spirit, mournful, meek, righteous, merciful, or clean of heart is in itself already a great recompense. But Jesus promises more because it is not easy to be so. Matthew has Jesus speak these easy-to-understand words at the beginning of Jesus’ ministry to give his listeners sufficient time to reflect on and live by them. The process of becoming consistently so is a lifetime struggle. Time and again, our priests have taught us the beauty of these teachings of Jesus. The saints have lived them; that is why they are now in heaven. We can do the same to be assured of this reward of all rewards—beatific vision. Nowadays we are trained not to expect anything in return for the good we do. This is all right. Yet in the Gospel, Jesus assures us that there is such a thing as a great recompense for being good as specified in the Beatitudes. We must be consoled by this promise, even when things are going wrong as we try to live by them. Jesus encourages us to go on, for our efforts are recognized in heaven. At the end of the Beatitudes, Jesus commands us “to rejoice and be glad” in anticipation of the heavenly reward.
Source: “366 Days with the Lord 2016,” ST. PAULS Philippines, 7708 St. Paul Rd., SAV, Makati City (Phils.); Tel.: 895-9701; Fax 895-7328; E-mail: email@example.com; Website: http://www.stpauls.ph.