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I am a Third Order Franciscan of the Province of the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus.

Wednesday, January 26, 2005

Faith Sharing Wednesday

We have picked up our faith sharing groups again this semester. Again, they are designed to give us an opportunity to reflect on upcoming Sunday's gospel readings. This Sunday's Gospel is Jesus' Beatitudes as presented in the Gospel of Matthew.

I can remember one person asking why it was that some Christians were staunchly supporting the erection of the Ten Commandments in courtrooms, but no one wanted to erect the Beatitudes. I think part of the reason may be because it seems easier to follow the prohibitions of the Ten Commandments such as "Thou shalt not kill" than the prescriptions of the Beatitudes such as "Blessed are the poor of heart". Moreover, many of the beatitudes seem to be directly opposite to an American culture that asks "Who wants to be a millionare?" or offers quick solutions to serious problems as do several other shows on TV. What is the American dream, but to be rich and famous? So, that even if we agree with the Beatitutudes, I don't know if we ever really try to put them into practice.

Moreover, some of the Beatitudes seem contrary to common sense - "Blessed are those who mourn", "Blessed are you when they insult and persecute you". This doesn't sound like something I want to associate myself with. Yet, I think these Beatitudes speak to the reality of human suffering - that in our lives there is and will be pain. We may not be able to explain it, but we can hope that the pain will not last forever - that there will be healing.


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