Welcome Father burke masters
"Be it known to all who enter here
that Christ is the reason for this school…
He is the unseen but ever present teacher in its classes…
He is the model of its faculty and the inspiration of its students…"
Thank you so much for your warm welcome during my first few months here at St. Isaac Jogues. I am very excited to be your pastor and look forward to walking this journey of discipleship, evangelization, and faith in action together.
REFLECTIONS FROM THE PASTOR
This weekend we read the Beatitudes from the Gospel of Matthew. This comes from the most famous teaching of Jesus called the Sermon on the Mount, which is found in Matthew chapters 5-7. This Sermon is so important that the readings for the next six Sundays will be focused on this fundamental teaching of what it means to live as a disciple of Jesus.
The word “Beatitude” comes from the Latin translation “beatus” for the original Greek “makarios”. Beatitude means happy. Jesus is teaching us how to find true happiness. This is not temporary happiness that the world offers, but lasting happiness in Christ.
Let’s look briefly at each one of these Beatitudes:
1)“Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.” This word poor literally means “dependent” or “needy”. Jesus is talking about humility. Do I have spiritual pride and try to do everything on my own? Happiness comes from recognizing my spiritual poverty and my complete and utter need for God.
2)“Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.” We all experience suffering, sin and death. We experience the pain of loss in this life. Our hope is in the promise of comfort beyond the sufferings of this life. Happiness will come in heaven, when every suffering, even death, will be no more.
3)“Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth.” The word “meek” means “gentle” in this context. It does not mean being a pushover. We are meek when we don’t retaliate when others insult or persecute us. Happiness will come in heaven, even when people are not just to us in this life.
4)“Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied.” Do I seek holiness? Do I seek justice for all? Happiness will be ours as we seek personal holiness and justice in the world.
5)“Blessed are the merciful, for they shall obtain mercy.” Mercy means to forgive others’ faults, even when they don’t deserve it. Happiness will come when I show mercy to others in the same way that I seek God’s mercy.
6)“Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.” Is my heart clean and undefiled? Am I a person of integrity? Happiness will come when I keep my heart clean and seek God above all else. Ultimately this will come with the Beatific Vision of God in heaven.
7)“Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God.” Do I seek to reconcile with others and foster reconciliation among others? Happiness will come when I make peace and foster peace.
8)“Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are you when men revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil falsely on my account. Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven.” We will be happy if we remain faithful to Jesus even when people want to persecute us.
Try reading the Beatitudes as descriptions of Jesus. They all describe Him. In the series The Chosen, Jesus tells Matthew that the Beatitudes are the road map to Him. If we truly want to be happy, we should seek to imitate Jesus and seek union with Him. He is the Way, the Truth and the Life.
Have a blessed weekend!
Book of the month – “Holy Moments” by Matthew Kelly
Fr. Burke’s Blog – www.frburke23.wordpress.com
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