Lord, I believe in you with a faith
that never seeks to test you. I trust in you, hoping to learn to accept and follow your will, even
when it does not make sense to the way that I see things. I love you, and I want to love you and
those around me with a love similar to the love you have shown to me.
Lord, help me accept sacrifices and overcome difficulties in order to gain
1. The Beatitudes Don't Make Sense:
As we celebrate the Solemnity of All Saints Day, the
Church calls us to contemplate the promises Jesus makes to all those who follow him. At first, they
don't seem very attractive. Jesus lists a whole series of things that most people would probably
avoid. They would see them as interfering with their wants and desires, Yet, Jesus says that we will
be blessed if we have them in our lives. The word in the original Greek is makarios, which means
happy. This doesn't make sense. I am supposed to be happy when I am poor, mourning, meek, lacking
righteousness, merciful, clean-hearted, a peacemaker, persecuted and insulted? Thats not what I see
on TV, in the movies, on the Internet. It's not what many of the people I know would advise me. So
what is Jesus big idea telling me this? Is he out to make me miserable?
2. Sacrificing for
We can see that the whole picture isn't gloomy. Jesus says that if we accept these difficult
things, there will be rewards. And the rewards sound pretty good. In fact, they sound great: the
Kingdom of Heaven, comfort, inheriting the land, satisfaction in seeing righteousness done,
receiving mercy, seeing God, being a child of God, a great reward in heaven. Who wouldn't want these
things? Don't people work a lot harder for a lot less? Don't athletes train for years, giving up all
kinds of pleasures, submitting themselves to intense suffering at times only for a brief moment of
glory in some competition? Don't businessmen work long hours, giving up pleasures and making immense
sacrifices just to make a few more dollars? Isn't what Jesus offers us much better than any of that?
Better than a gold medal or even a million dollars?
3. But I Am Not Interested in Heavenly
Anything worth having is worth making sacrifices for, and the more it is worth, the greater
sacrifices we should be willing to make for it. Perhaps a gold medal is worth the sacrifices the
athlete makes to win it. Perhaps a million dollars are worth the sacrifices that a businessman makes
to gain them. If heaven is really all it is supposed to be, isn't it worth all the sacrifices Jesus
mentions here ñ and more? If people are willing to make such great sacrifices to gain things they
cannot keep, shouldn't I be willing to make even greater sacrifices to gain the eternal happiness of
heaven? Of course, many people with the talent to do great things in this world never do them
because they just aren't that interested or motivated. Is that why I don't do more to gain heaven?
Just not that interested? What will it take to motivate me to really desire what Jesus
Conversation with Christ:
Dear Jesus, I don't
do much to make the Beatitudes come to life in me.
Help me to give heaven its full
Help me to desire it more each day.
Help me to meditate on what heaven
will be like
so I will love it more and more and be willing
to do anything
whatever it takes
to get there and help many others arrive as well.
I will spend at least five minutes today imagining what heaven will be
like. What would I like heaven to be like? Jesus is setting up a mansion there for me. He is going
to put everything that he can in it to please me and make me happy. Spend some time imagining what
he would put there to surprise and delight me. He will go far beyond my wildest imaginations, but by
dedicating some time to this today, I will increase my desire for heaven and to make the
sacrifices necessary to get there.