Jesus tells us, Blessed are the poor in spirit, they who mourn, the meek, those who hunger & thirst for righteousness, the merciful, clean of heart, peacemakers. What does Jesus have to say about the money maker, the clothes horse, the bar hopper, the party girl, the vacation dreamer? Is there any chance that she will be blessed, any chance at all that there is a “Reward great in heaven” for her? Do we all have to be “persecuted like the prophets before we get to heaven”?
If this Sunday’s gospel frightened you, or made you wonder, What am I doing with my life? I don’t have a chance!, take heart. Although Jesus drew his line of those who get to heaven pretty straight, you still have time to find your vocation (no matter what it is). Consider the Beatitudes again. In them, Jesus is sitting down and teaching his disciples…which include ALL of us.
Listen to what he says: Look at your life, you HAVE been poor in spirit. Remember the times you went without so your parents did not have to send more money to you at school? Yours is the kingdom of heaven!
You have mourned (a loved one’s death, an illness, a lost friendship). Jesus says, You will be comforted.
Remember when you forgave a friend who betrayed your confidences? You showed mercy and will be forgiven.
Remember when you refused to listen to a lewd or cruel joke or story? YOU WILL SEE GOD.
The Beatitudes are for all of us. We are all living them.
If you are drawn to religious life but think yourself unworthy, give yourself some slack! Talk to a guidance counselor or a spiritual director to begin to see just where you fit into this Sermon on the Mount. Blessings on your journey to your true self.