This Sunday we will be celebrating All Saints Day. And yes I am aware the actual date is November 1, but most churches celebrate it on the first Sunday after the first. I imagine we do that because it’s difficult in modern times to get to church on another day.
In any event, the gospel for Sunday is Matthew’s version of the Beatitudes. The most important word is “Blessed”. In order to truly comprehend what Jesus was teaching we need to understand this word, and in order to do that we need to take a look at the word in its original language, Greek. And lo and behold when we do a better translation is discovered. That would be “enormously happy.” So please take a look at the meaning of what Jesus had to say as it leaps off the page.
“Enormously happy are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
“Enormously happy are those who mourn, for they will be comforted.
“Enormously happy are the meek, for they will inherit the earth.
“Enormously happy are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled.
“Enormously happy are the merciful, for they will receive mercy.
“Enormously happy are the pure in heart, for they will see God.
“Enormously happy are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God.
“Enormously happy are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
“Enormously happy are you when people revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account. Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.”
Jesus is saying, it seems to me, that happiness is found in the relationship and promises of God. I bet the people hearing this for the first time were pretty amazed. I know I always am. It makes me enormously happy.