The Gospels – The Gospel According to Matthew
Matthew 5: 3-12 “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the Kingdom of Heaven.
Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted.
Blessed are meek, for they will inherit the earth.
Blessed and those who hunger and thirst for Righteousness, for they will be filled. Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy.
Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God.
Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called sons of God.
Blessed and those who had persecuted because of Righteousness, for theirs in the Kingdom of Heaven.
Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me. Rejoice and the glad, because great is your reward in Heaven, for in the same way the persecuted the prophets who were before you.”
The Beatitudes show the overriding Message of Jesus. They are words of encouragement for those who are already on the right path. A word of encouragement for the poor in spirit, those perhaps who are about to give up the spiritual struggle. A word for those who are spiritually alive enough to feel the suffering of others and also who possess enough love within them to actually feel the loss of a loved one. He also offered a word of encouragement for the meek, those who have retained the simplicity of their spirits. These are actually the ones who will remain when all the arrogant and proud have passed away.
If you show mercy, mercy will also be shown to you. This is reminiscent of the Lord’s Prayer “Lord forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us.” This is a prerequisite. We must show mercy to others if we are expected to receive any merciful dispensations from God. This is actually a Law that we must learn to obey. He who fulfils this Law is on the right path.
Those who seek after righteousness are those who seek to know the Laws of God and adjust their lives to those Laws. To be righteous has nothing to do with arrogance or vaingloriously looking down on our neighbours, thinking that we are better than them. It is the condition of consciously making the spiritual effort to be better human beings through the knowledge of the Laws of God. It is the conscious decision to adhere to the Laws of God through the deed. Those who are too indolent to seek after righteousness will never come to know these Laws of God and as a result will never come to know how to adjust themselves in this Creation.
Through the beatitudes Jesus gave us directions as to how to live from then on in order to be pleasing to God. We have to be simple (meek); we have to be merciful and we must hunger and thirst after righteousness. We must seek knowledge but not the hitherto intellectual knowledge that mankind has enslaved itself to but a different kind of knowledge. We must seek spiritual knowledge. It is this knowledge that is wholly lacking with mankind of today and has led to the disaster that we see before us.
The pure in heart are those people who have made the effort to keep their intuitions pure. Those who have refused to engage in evil thoughts, words or deeds. To be pure in heart as we also know is to be pure within, to be pure in spirit. This has nothing to do with physical chastity. What good will it do if we keep the physical body chaste by avoiding sexual intercourse but engage in evil thoughts, words or actions. We will obviously never be able to enter the Kingdom of Heaven in such a state.
This therefore is another commandment from Jesus adjuring us to keep our hearts (our spirits) pure by making the effort to be good, to avoid evil in our thoughts, words or deeds. He said that blessed be those who are pure in heart and as such this blessing is the reward for those who obey this commandment. This is similar to what Jesus later told the disciples about the fact that what defilleth a man is not what he consumes physically but what comes out of him in the form of his thoughts, words or deeds. We get defiled because our thoughts, words and deeds are realities which shape themselves according to the nature of the thought or deed. If evil they are ugly and dark and are attached to our spirits thereby burdening the spirit and dragging it down. If good, the are light and they beautify the garment of the spirit.
Because God is Purity, such pure persons are admitted to His vicinity and will be permitted to witness things which will forever be closed to those not so pure. It is obvious then from this that if our goal is to enter the Kingdom of Heaven, we must make the effort to be pure in heart. No other route leads to the proximity of God. The impure are confined to the lower regions corresponding to their natures and will never be able to participate in the purity that animates Paradise.
Given the situation prevalent in the world today it is inconceivable that war or conflict is the solution to anything. The blessings of God can only flourish in a peaceful environment and those who work to promote this peace shall be adopted as children of God. In fact the ultimate goal of the human spirit is this adoption. Working so that peace reigns for all mankind in small and in great things is one of the most important duties that we can be engaged in; because by so doing we promote and provide a suitable soil for the gradual establishment of the Kingdom of God on earth. The blessings of God will not be anchored on a soil riddled with terror and ravaged by conflict. We must see to it that peace reigns. It is our duty.
Again the importance of seeking after righteousness, that seeking to improve oneself spiritually is pointed out by Jesus. Not only that but we must not allow ourselves to be diverted from the chosen path. Even when persecuted because of our beliefs and because of our efforts to be different from others in our willingness to adhere ourselves to the Laws of God. There will be detractors and there will be persecutors but we are encouraged to persevere and bear it all. It is nothing new. It is always the case that those who cannot bring themselves to make the effort to adhere to the Laws of God will scoff and will try to hurt in ways often unexpected. It is our duty not to let ourselves weaken as a result of their attacks. The reward is great; what is a short time on earth compared to the eternal life, which adherence to the Laws of God bestows?