Friday, March 21, 2008
SCRIPTURE COMMENTARY #165
And opening his mouth he taught them, saying: "Blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are the meek: for they shall possess the land. Blessed are they that mourn: for they shall be comforted. Blessed are they that hunger and thirst after justice: for they shall have their fill. Blessed are the merciful: for they shall obtain mercy. Blessed are the clean of heart: they shall see God. Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God. Blessed are they that suffer persecution for justice' sake: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are ye when they shall revile you, and persecute you, and speak all that is evil against you, untruly, for my sake: Be glad and rejoice for your reward is very great in heaven." (Matt. 5:2-12)THE MAXIMS OF CHRISTIANITY AND THE MAXIMS OF THE WORLD: In the Sermon on the Mount, and especially in the Beatitudes, our Lord proclaimed the ruling maxims of His kingdom. It was a discourse--new, utterly unheard of, and coming straight from heaven! Blessed are the poor, the mourners--the persecuted! This was in direct opposition to the Jews' hopes of an earthly Messiah, and showed plainly that His kingdom was not of this world, a kingdom of pomp and pleasure, but a kingdom of renouncement and self-denial. These maxims of our Lord's kingdom are in direct contrast to the maxims of the un-Christian world. In the world reign supreme the lust of the eyes, the lust of the flesh, and the pride of life. Its children say, "Come, let us enjoy the pleasures and good things of this earth. Do not deny your senses. Give free scope to your passions and desires. Allow no one to injure you. Take revenge. Have no thought for the needs of others. Let each man look after himself. Eat, drink and be merry, and enjoy to your fill the good things of this earth!" The laws laid down by Christ for His kingdom are very different; and he, therefore, who lives in accordance with the maxims of the world, cannot be a true follower of Christ nor an heir of heaven.
[From 'A Practical Commentary on Holy Scripture' by Bishop Knecht, D.D.](1899 Douay-Rheims Bible)