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The good news for the day June 6

Monday of the Tenth Week in Ordinary Time (359)

Jesus says: Blessed are the poor in spirit; theirs is the realm of what’s right!

How rich are people who mourn; they will find comfort!

How fortunate are the nice people; they will inherit the land!

How successful are people hungering and thirsting for what’s right; they will be satisfied.

How well off are people who express care; they will be shown mercy.

How holy are the clean of heart; they will see God.

Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God. (Matthew 5)

“Blessed”—a key word in Scripture is worth reflection. Traditionally, blessed refers to somebody God has “graced.” A religious word now, it works to describe the relationship between God and you—a passive acceptance of something God does—His reward for your good behavior.

In Hebrew Scriptures, though, the word is more active—referring more to secular achievement—to an active state of maturity attained by earthly co-operating with God. This Hebrew word ‘ashre references the tribe of Asher—those Israelites made wealthier as businessmen. The word also introduces the Book of Psalms (Psalm 1), describing any good man who avoids associating with harmful, deviant or disdainful people. In both Hebrew and Greek, it suggests success—the secure and wise adult.

In short, “blessedness” means that prosperity which means more than monetary wealth. “Blessedness,” means poverty, grief, mercy—choices that mark your core as a mature Child of God—your heart-treasury.

In the beatitudes, various English words appear, so that you can reflect on the original meaning. “Blessed” is no reward, no passive pay for devout religious behavior. It reflects your ordinary challenges (bills, grief, passion for justice, compassion, meekness, humility and simplicity)—as they ripen into your closeness to God—and the natural result—the calm, gratitude and wisdom of the real mature person. “Blessed” is closeness to our Father.

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