Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Posts Tagged ‘Sermon on the Mount’


Matthew 5:21-26: Teaching on Anger

Carl Heinrich Bloch: The Sermon on the Mount

Carl Heinrich Bloch: The Sermon on the Mount

Second Sunday of Easter, April 24, 2022

A Favorite from August 10, 2009. 

Anger is a universal, human emotion which each of us handles in our particular way.  In today’s citation we hear Jesus tell us how important it is that we learn to identify our anger, to name its origin and to manage its effects immediately and completely. Verse 24 tells us that nothing engendering anger may be allowed to take root and live in us; nothing can be allowed to separate us from God.

From Julian of Norwich in ALL WILL BE WELL: “In his merciful way, our good Lord always leads us as long as we inhabit this impermanent life.  I saw no anger other than humanity’s, and God forgives us that, for anger is no more than perverse opposition to peace and love. It arises from a lack of strength, or wisdom, or goodness.  And this failure lies in ourselves rather than in God. Our sin and desperation generate in us a wrath and a continual opposition to peace and love”.

The best antidote to anger is mercy, Julian tells us, for “the ground of mercy is love, and the ministry of mercy is to preserve us in love.  For mercy works in love, with generosity, compassion, and sweetness. And mercy labors within us, preserving us, and conveying everything to the good”.

In his sermon on the mount, Christ tells us: Settle with your opponent quickly while on the way to court with him. Jesus understands well how the entry of a third party into a conflict can either quell or stir the flames of anger. A quiet mediator who empowers those in conflict to listen to one another is invaluable. Any person outside the conflict who delights in adding to that roiling emotions that often accompany a rift nearly always spell death for the relationship. It is for this reason that Jesus urges us to seek settlement before appearing before a judge. Not all third parties have the best interests of those in conflict in their hearts.

Julian concludes her comments with a thought about the effects of anger and a possible sure: “Our failure is frightful, our falling inglorious, our dying wretched. Yet never does love’s compassionate eye turn from us, nor does the operation of mercy cease”.

Mercy and goodness when applied to anger bring about change that transforms. When carrying our gift of self back to God, we must first put anger away. We must first seek and give mercy. We must remember that our travels here are temporary and that the next world, where there is no place for anger to fester and take over, is permanent and eternal. This anger we experience here must be left behind. We must convert it to compassion . . . for in so doing, we enter into Christ’s love and body.

Tomorrow, Jesus’ teaching about adultery.


Julian of Norwich. ALL WILL BE WELL. Ave Maria Press, 1995, 2008. Print. 

Image from: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Bloch-SermonOnTheMount.jpg

Read Full Post »


Matthew 5:17-20

Teaching about the Law – A Repriselaw-of-love

Easter Saturday, April 23, 2022

We humans rarely understand how the new law of the Beatitudes brings the Mosaic Ten Commandments to fulfillment. We who hope to testify to the Easter miracle struggle to comprehend the depth of God’s love for creation. We who want to enact the Gospel in our daily actions look for a present-day structure to lend us strength.


To better understand the Law of Love as Jesus sees it, read different versions of these verses using the scripture link above, enter the words Teaching on the Law in the blog search bar. Click on the image above to reflect on the importance of forgiveness in our lives. And consider how we might bring the Law of Love to our daily prayers, thoughts and actions.

Tomorrow, Jesus’ teaching about anger.

Image from: http://www.riseearth.com/2011/07/forgiveness-and-law-of-love.html

Read Full Post »


Matthew 5:13-16: Salt and Lightbigstock-sea-salt-34380128

Easter Friday, April 22, 2022

As we celebrate Holy Week and Easter, we have spent a number of days with the Beatitudes, exploring the inverted ways of the kingdom where the poor are central, the mourning find comfort, the meek receive abundant gifts, the merciful are treated with mercy, the clean of heart see God and the persecuted inherit God’s kingdom. This way of living is not celebrated and is even alien to the first century and modern societies in which power, influence and comfort are the most coveted goals. As much as Jesus enacts Gospel thinking, we humans seem determined to strive for the opposite; and perhaps this is why Jesus describes his followers as salt and light.

You are the salt of the earth, but if salt has lost its taste, how can its saltiness be restored? It is no longer good for anything, but is thrown out and trampled underfoot.

Salt without taste is like life with a misdirected purpose.

You are the light of the world. A city on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor do they light a lamp and put it under a bushel basket; it is set on a lampstand where it gives light to all in the house.

Light of its own nature moves outward in warmth and does not retract in coldness.

You are the salt and the light of the world . . .

Let your salt bring out the goodness in life. Let your light shine before others and glorify God.

Matthew records the words of Jesus’ lessons in his Sermon on the Mount. During this Eastertide, let us savor these words like fresh salt. Let us hear these verses in new light. And let us determine to put away our tastelessness and darkness to live the Gospel as salt and light to the world.

Tomorrow, Jesus’ teaching about the Law.


For an interesting read on salt, check out Mark Kurlansky’s novel about salt at: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/salt-mark-kurlansky/1102487050?ean=9780142001615 

Image from: http://www.saltsistersonline.com/resources/info-guide

Read Full Post »


Matthew 5:9: The Peacemakersblessed-are-the-peacemakers_t_nv

Easter Thursday, April 21, 2022

Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called Children of God. (Matthew’s account of the Sermon on the Mount)

­What does Jesus mean when he speaks of peacemakers? Is he describing those who say nothing in the face of conflict? Is he telling us that silence creates calm and confronts evil and chaos? Is he asking to create comfort zones for ourselves and our loved ones?

How does Jesus enact peace? By aligning himself with those in power? By ignoring the influential? By harsh deeds and punitive actions?

The peace that Jesus describes and enacts is revealed quite simply through scripture. Jesus dines with tax collectors and includes one of them in his closest circle of friends. Jesus interacts with women on a par with men. Jesus speaks and acts when called upon by the Creator. Jesus lives and moves in the Spirit. Jesus heals and saves. Jesus woos and calls.

Jesus lives the life of a peacemaker . . . and asks that we follow his example. It is in this way that we become builders and workers in the kingdom. It is in this way that we become Children of God.


Image from: https://newauthors.wordpress.com/2013/08/06/blessed-are-the-peacemakers/

Read Full Post »


Matthew 5:8: The Clean of Heartheart_on_fire_wallpaper__yvt2

Easter Wednesday, April 20, 2022

Blessed are the clean of heart, for they will see God. (Matthew’s account of the Sermon on the Mount)

How do we strive to be clean or pure of heart? Richard Rohr, O.F.M., write and speaks frequently about our compulsion to see the world as dual rather than united. We humans are drawn to a divisive “us-versus them” world in which we earn God’s attention and grace. What we fail to consider with this model is God’s true identity. We choose to see God as we have created God; and we disregard God as revealed through scripture and the person of Jesus. In this non-dual, unitive concept of the creator we create God in our own image rather than God to create us as sisters and brothers in Christ.

God says: You have read the story of my journey on earth with you in the person of Jesus. Return to those stories and read my words to the people of the first century. I repeat them to you today. You have heard of the hope and promise I have in mind for you. Return to the words of the prophets and remember the plans I have in mind for you. They are plans for your joy and not your woe. You have witnessed the perfection of my kingdom in the persistence on my apostles and disciples. Imitate my followers and do not be surprised when you fail. The pure of heart are not free from error; rather, they have learned that my kingdom has room for the sinner, accepts the fallen and care-worn, lifts up those who have been trampled by life’s woes and worries. Come then, and live in my perfection, a way that perseveres in faith, lives in hope and acts in love.

It is not possible for humans to attain perfection except in their perseverance in belief, except through the fire of Christ’s Easter passion, except by the healing call of the Spirit. It is in this way that we cleanse our hearts and truly come to see the face of God. It is in this way that we witness the goodness of God’s kingdom.

Tomorrow, peacemakers.


Image from: https://priscillapeace.wordpress.com/2014/12/16/you-set-my-heart-on-fire/

Read Full Post »


Matthew 5:7: The Mercifulmercy

Easter Tuesday, April 19, 2022

Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy. (Matthew’s account of the Sermon on the Mount)

Perhaps endurance is the quality we most need if we are to be merciful servants. Endurance indicates our fidelity and perseverance. Endurance reinforces our strength and courage. Endurance in Christ, remaining in the Spirit, commitment to God  . . . all of this endurance in God brings us the gift of mercy.

We count those blessed who endured. You have heard of the endurance of Job and have seen the outcome of the Lord’s dealings, that the Lord is full of compassion and is merciful. (James 5:11)

It is so difficult to wait for mercy when we need it. It is so difficult to show compassion when we are betrayed; yet Jesus tells us so often that we are forgiven as we forgive. In Psalm 55, the psalmist tells us that when we are betrayed by one near to us – our own intimate friend – we must continue in mercy, even when this seems impossible, by enduring through and with and in God. On this Easter Tuesday let us reflect on the mercy we have granted those who wrong us. Let us remember the mercy we seek in our daily lives. And let us determine to cast our burden upon the broad shoulders of the Lord, for they are wide and broad and ready to take on all that we have to offer.

Tomorrow, the clean of heart.


Image from: https://hrh413.wordpress.com/2011/07/18/merciful-giver-or-doormat/

Read Full Post »


tomb-imageMatthew 5:11 and Luke 6:22: Rejoice!

Easter Sunday, April 17, 2022

Blessed are you when they insult you and persecute you and utter every kind of evil against you [falsely] because of me. (Matthew’s account of the Sermon on the Mount)

Blessed are you when people hate you, and when they exclude and insult you, and denounce your nature as evil on account of the Son of Man. (Luke’s account of the Sermon on the Plain)

God says: Many of you have created cultures that lure you into believing that your goal is to prepare for every cataclysm and stave off every hazard, but these creeds may not serve you well. Many of you live in societies that know too well the effects of corruption, self-preservation, avarice and envy. And then many of you live among advantaged people who understand the inversion of my kingdom where the poor are the powerful and the strong are weak. Listen to my words in these sermons on the mount and plain and look at all you see around you. Rejoice in the promise of the Easter miracle that these inversions are true. And rejoice in the knowledge that my kingdom is already declared among you. Rejoice. Be glad. Open your hearts to the wayward, the fallen, the voiceless and powerless. And as you celebrate with Easter joy . . . tend to my sheep.

love_00370941The tomb that is empty is full of new life. The life that is given is restored in new measure. The heart that is broken is transformed in God’s love. Rejoice and be glad in the promise of this day! Rejoice and be glad in Christ who is with us always! Rejoice!


Images from: http://pixgood.com/heart-on-fire-animation.html and https://revdtabbs.wordpress.com/2013/03/31/the-empty-tomb-is-not-an-idle-tale/

Read Full Post »


Matthew 5:12 and Luke 6:23: Heavendressmakerkhair-hc-c_custom-04a264c841961e0a604539154daf878633162c96-s200-c85

Saturday, April 2, 2022

Rejoice and be glad, for your reward will be great in heaven. Thus they persecuted the prophets who were before you. (Matthew’s account of the Sermon on the Mount)

Rejoice and leap for joy on that day! Behold, your reward will be great in heaven. For their ancestors treated the prophets in the same way. (Luke’s account of the Sermon on the Plain)

God says: You have heard it said that your reward is great in heaven, and today I have more good news for you . . . Heaven is now. First, you must open your heart and mind to me alone. Then consider these questions. Can you see each sorrowful experience as an invitation to allow my faith to abide in you? Can you allow each betrayal to become an opportunity for alliance with my son? Can you open your heart and mind to my healing, serene Spirit? If so, your reward is now. Heaven is now. Ultimately, my plan encompasses all sorrow and converts it to joy. All suffering becomes celebration when you live in my love. Do not be afraid; I am with you. Do not shrink; I am your guide. Take heart; I am your strength. Take heart; I am your fire of love.

Today we remember and re-live the last meal Jesus shared with his followers. In his discourse after this meal, he reminded the apostles that although they might not understand his need to be away from them a little while, they need not fear. As we celebrate this Last Supper moment in our own lives, let us heed these words. Let us allow the fire of God’s love to transform all that troubles us. And let us remind ourselves and others that Heaven is with us even now.

Tomorrow, Luke’s woes.


kamila sidiqi npr

Kamila Sidiqi in the foreground

Read about Kamila Sidiqi, the dressmaker of Kabul, or listen to the NPR podcast by clicking the images in this post. What heaven on earth has she encountered and share with others?

Sidiqi image from: http://www.npr.org/2011/03/15/134533995/in-kabul-a-dressmaker-sows-entrepreneurial-seeds

Book NPR image from: http://www.npr.org/2011/03/15/134533995/in-kabul-a-dressmaker-sows-entrepreneurial-seeds 

 

 

Read Full Post »


Matthew 5:4 and Luke 6:21: Mourningmourning angel

Thursday, March 31, 2022

Blessed are they who mourn, for they will be comforted. (Matthew’s account of the Sermon on the Mount)

Blessed are you who are now weeping, for you will laugh. (Luke’s account of the Sermon on the Plain)

God says: When you sink into deepest grief, remember me – for I am with you. When you believe you will never smile again, remain in me – for I live in you. When the darkness is so dense that the light of hope struggles to pierce it, call on me – for I am that light that no darkness can hold back. The prophets foretold and my son retells you that your mourning will become dancing. The psalmist reminds you that those who go out weeping as they carry seed to sow will also return with triumphant sheaves of joy.

As part of our Beatitudes thanksgiving, let us consider how we might bring the gift of presence to someone who mourns the loss of a person, employment, or a lifestyle.

nilmdts_logo1Find out more about the NILMDTS (Now I Lay Me Down to Sleep) organization, a group of photographers whose mission is to introduce remembrance photography to parents suffering the loss of a baby with a free gift of professional portraiture. Visit: https://www.nowilaymedowntosleep.org/

Tomorrow, hunger and thirst.


Image from: http://galleryhip.com/mourning.html

Read Full Post »

Older Posts »

%d bloggers like this: