Monday, 12 August 2013

On the Eighth Beatitude

“Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness’ sake: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven” (Mt 5:10).

“‘Blessed are they who suffer persecution for righteousness’ sake, that is for virtue, for defending others, for piety, for all these things are spoken of under the title of righteousness. This follows the beatitude upon the peacemakers, that we may not be led to suppose that it is good to seek peace at all times.” -St. John Chrysostom

“‘For righteousness’ sake’ He adds expressly, for many suffer persecution for their sins, and are not therefore righteous.” -St. Jerome

“Scripture . . . does not mention the persons of the persecutors, but only the cause of persecution, that you may learn to look, not by whom, but why you suffer.” -Pseudo-Chrysostom

“He includes those in the beatitude whose will is ready to suffer all things for Christ, who is our righteousness.” -St. Hilary of Poitiers

“The eighth beatitude, as it were, returns to the commencement, because it shows the perfect complete character. In the first then and the eighth, the kingdom of heaven is named, for the seven go to make the perfect man, the eighth manifests and proves his perfectness, that all may be conducted to perfection by these steps.” -St. Augustine

“Wonder not if you do not hear ‘the kingdom’ mentioned under each beatitude; for in saying ‘shall be comforted,’ ‘shall find mercy,’ and the rest, in all these the kingdom of heaven is tacitly understood. . . . For indeed he would not be blessed who was to be crowned with those things which depart with this life.” -St. John Chrysostom

and from Fr John Hardon:

Finally, and I hesitate even speaking of the Eighth Beatitude because I would like to spend the Whole Hour just on the Eighth Beatitude. It is so Rich in it’s implications. First it reads, “Blessed are you when men abuse you and persecute you and speak all kinds of calumny against you on My account, rejoice and be glad for your reward will be great in Heaven. This is how they persecuted the Prophets before you”. Unquote the Savior. What are we being told? Christ saved the Eighth Beatitude for Last. You live Faithfully the First Seven (7) Beatitudes, and my friends, you cannot escape the Eighth, am I clear? In other words, even as Christ Himself, and just repeat the verbs, was Abused and Persecuted and all kinds of Calumny spoken against Him, Hated, Hounded, Condemned to Death, Crucified, and the Worst possible, the most Horrible kind of Execution of which the Roman Soldiers were capable, was Crucifixion.

Christ Himself experienced that Suffering and His Promises for those who follow-in His Footsteps, they are to expect to be Rejected accordingly. You might ask, well why? Why? Because the World always Hates the Truth, and when Truth became Incarnate, the Truth was Rejected, Crucified, Died and was Buried. You might say somewhat surprisingly, Christ in giving us the Eighth Beatitude Promises, oh, He Promises Happiness all right, but hear it, the Promise of looking-forward-to a Heavenly Eternity. In other words, for those who follow Jesus Faithfully, they should not expect any other Joy here on Earth that is more deeply satisfying than the Joy of knowing that they are following in the Footsteps of the Master and that even as He was Rejected, so they are. They are Rejected with Him, but, hear it, in the original Greek of Saint Matthew, the Followers of Christ are told not just to rejoice, but positively, dance with joy. Why? Because Love, Love enjoys to Suffer for the One whom he Loves, and there is no greater Joy, no greater Joy on Earth, than that of Uniting our Being, Rejected by the World, because we are Faithful to Jesus Christ.
No Pain . . . . . . No Gain
No Guts . . . . . . No Glory
No Cross . . . . . No Crown

1 comment:

Supertradmum said...

You have been busy on your blog. I have a friend whose husband does personal Bible Study daily and he spent one year on the Beatitudes. He is a Lutheran. Maybe you could do more on the Beatitudes to help Catholics get into them more. Of course, do not use the Jerusalem Bible translation, with the horrid Happytudes...........