Speak Lord: Speak up?

Beatitudes 2.jpg

Seeing the crowds, Jesus went up the hill. There he sat down and was joined by his disciples. Then he began to speak. This is what he taught them:

‘How happy are the poor in spirit;
theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
Happy the gentle:
they shall have the earth for their heritage.
Happy those who mourn:
they shall be comforted.
Happy those who hunger and thirst for what is right:
they shall be satisfied.
Happy the merciful:
they shall have mercy shown them.
Happy the pure in heart:
they shall see God.
Happy the peacemakers:
they shall be called sons of God.
Happy those who are persecuted in the cause of right:
theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

‘Happy are you when people abuse you and persecute you and speak all kinds of calumny against you on my account. Rejoice and be glad, for your reward will be great in heaven.’

Matthew 5:1-12

This coming Sunday, the 4th in Ordinary Time, we hear teh Beatitudes from Matthew’s Gospel as our Sunday Gospel.

The passage from the ‘Sermon on the Mount’ is a key exposition of the teaching of Jesus. Perhaps because they never read to the end, some -for example Goebbels, have belittled it as proclaiming a Gospel of weakness and impotence.

Monty Python offered their own take in the Life of Brian, exploiting the sermon on the mount to provide a funny tale of poor crowd control and mishearing. They provided a sympathetic sign-off to the sketch, but again one which focuses on the softer element of the teaching of Jesus.

MAN #2: You hear that? Blessed are the Greek.

GREGORY: The Greek?

MAN #2: Mmm. Well, apparently, he’s going to inherit the earth…..


MRS. BIG NOSE: Oh, it’s the meek! Blessed are the meek! Oh, that’s nice, isn’t it? I’m glad they’re getting something, ’cause they have a hell of a time.

Jesus himself ends with a challenge to his listeners to be strong and resilient as they engage with the evils of the world: to endure abuse and persecution for the cause of right and in defence of their following of Jesus.

  • Which Beatitude do you find most attractive?
  • Which do you find most challenging?
  • Which Beatitude most deepens the quality of life in you?


To see the Sermon on the Mount scene from The Life of Brian click here.

Photograph of Church at the Mount of Beatitudes. (c) 2007, Allen Morris.



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