Fourth Sunday in Ordinary Time

Jesus said that happiness is:

1)      deciding to be materially poor, at least in some areas of our lives (see Mt 5:3),

2)      sorrowing for our sins (see Mt 5:4),

3)      humbling ourselves by taking the lowest places (see Mt 5:5Lk 14:10),

4)      desiring holiness more than pleasure, comfort, or prestige (see Mt 5:6),

5)      giving up our rights in order to show others mercy (see Mt 5:7),

6)      making the Lord the only Desire of our hearts (Mt 5:8),

7)      making peace by shedding our own blood rather than that of our enemies (see Mt 5:9Heb 12:4Col 1:20), and

8)      being persecuted, insulted, and slandered as Jesus was (Mt 5:10-11).

Most people, even many Christians, think that Jesus’ ideas on happiness are absurd (see 1 Cor 1:27). However, the happiest people throughout history have been the humble and lowly remnant who have had the faith to live the Beatitudes (see Zep 3:12). Will you make up your own “Beatitudes” only to find out later that you messed up your life and that Jesus knew more about life and happiness than you did? Or will you live Jesus’ Beatitudes and find out later how wise you were?