I find the Beatitudes in today's Gospel hard. (See Luke 6:2-26.) Hard to understand, hard to practice.
They feel to me somehow esoteric and lofty, when I know in reality they really aren't. I always come away from reading the Beatitudes feeling that I'm still not holy enough to understand them, and that I obviously have to completely change my life in order to live them out.
But I think I'm wrong. Even though Jesus is saying blessed are those who practice these paradoxical ways, He hasn't neglected to tell us how we arrive at Beatitude.
He has given us the direction and path of how to get there. I'm wrong in thinking that the Beatitudes are somehow set apart from the rest of what Jesus taught when really they're the pinnacle and culmination of all the teachings of His life.
Jesus told us to follow the Commandments. He tells us to take up our crosses and follow Him. He tells us to give up our riches and wealth, even our family and friends to choose His holiness, freedom, and friendship with Him.
In other words, just as Saint Paul reminds us in today's First Reading, Colossians 3:1-11, in order to live out the Beatitudes we have to choose to stop having idols in our lives, choose to stop lying, choose to stop living a life of sin.
At first that seems fairly basic: sin isn't good for me and it should be a whole lot easier than giving up my wealth and friends, but I know I cling to sins in my life often because it feels so easy.
If the Beatitudes seem far away from us because they feel difficult to attain maybe it is because we've become so used to the ease of habitual sin? We don't arrive at the Beatitudes one day out of the blue, we start living the Beatitudes with every choice we make.
We study the Beatitudes along with the Commandments in our Rooted Study, available for digital download, for just you or a group.
Christy Isinger is a wife and mom to five lovely, loud children and lives in northern Canada. When not homeschooling, she is a devoted reader of English literature from Jane Austen to Agatha Christie. She writes about the beauty of faith, life, and the home at her blog and is the co-host of the Fountains of Carrots Podcast. You can find out more about her here. She is the author of our Blessed Conversations: The Ten Commandments study found here.