January 17, 2018

Our Venerable and God-bearing Father Anthony the Great (356)

Hebrews 13:17-21; Luke 6:17-23

Christ is born! Glorify Him!

The Beatitudes are a doorway leading us into our Lord’s teachings. They are the life that brings us into the Kingdom. He gave us a vision of what makes an authentic Christian. Each of them starts with the word ‘Blessed,’ makarios in Greek. Beatitudes come from the Latin word beatus, which means to be blessed or fortunate. It is significant that Jesus begins his earthly teaching with blessing and not curses for this is why he came to earth in the first place. Jesus purchased for us every blessing with His blood and by His sinless, blameless life. And we participate in this blessing in a twofold way: the blessing in living like Christ and the unique reward that each beatitude gives for those who live it out.

The real difference in believers and non-believers is our notions of happiness and richness. The worlds says, to be blessed means to be rich, healthy, undisturbed, aggressive, assertive and hungry for status and pleasure. Jesus teaches the opposite. We should be willing to take the standard of Jesus’ teaching as blessedness and resist conformity to the world. The world says, you can do this even though it is against the teaching of your Saviour—it’s okay you’ll be happy. If your spouse is giving you a hard time the world says, ‘just divorce and you’ll be happy’. The Lord says, ‘don’t do it, there is a better way’. We are invited to truly put our trust in the Lord: live according to the Beatitudes and you will be so fortunate in this life and more importantly that life which is to come.