Our lives as Christians are not necessarily lives of comfort, carelessness and happiness.


Some of the most important questions in life are: “Will I grow in holiness, go to heaven, and see Jesus face to face?” “Will I be at the everlasting family reunion in heaven?” “How do I become holy and go to heaven with all the holy ones?”

The Church teaches that we become holy by living the Beatitudes. This comes as quite a shock because it is humanly impossible to live the Beatitudes. However, the Holy Spirit will show us how to do the impossible. The saints on earth longed to see God. Now they are with God in heaven and will know the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit for all eternity. They are radiantly, perfectly, happy. One day, please God, each of us will be there with them.

In the meantime, there is work to be done for God by us. The beatitudes sum up pretty well the kind of people God wants us to be—the kind of people the saints were in their lives on earth.

  • Jesus says blessed are the poor in spirit. He does not say blessed are the rich. Jesus says blessed are they who mourn. He does not say blessed are those who party.
  • Jesus says blessed are the meek. He does not say blessed are those who are bold and loud.
  • Jesus says blessed are they who hunger and thirst for righteousness. He does not say blessed are those who could care less.
  • Jesus says blessed are the merciful. He does not say blessed are those who are vindictive and seek revenge.
  • Jesus says blessed are the clean of heart. He does not say blessed are those who sin.
  • Jesus says blessed are the peacemakers. He does not say blessed are those who hate, kill and deceive.
  • Jesus says blessed are they who are persecuted for the sake of righteousness. He does not say blessed are those who never face any hardship.
  • Jesus says blessed are you when they insult you and persecute you. He does not say blessed are those who never face affliction.

Looking at the opposites shows us clearly what Jesus was saying. Our lives as Christians are not necessarily lives of comfort, carelessness and happiness. It is actually the opposite, and our lives must be lived for those who mourn, in search of righteousness, with clean hearts and knowing it will be a struggle. It is in these things we are truly blessed and it is in these things we truly find our Lord.

We live in difficult times with many of us suffering around the world because of unemployment, inability to pay monthly bills, and failure to afford either a decent education for our children or adequate health insurance for our families, to mention just a few of the many issues resulting in despair and hopelessness today. The Beatitudes give us hope in all the situations of life, however, their  message should not be misunderstood as a cheap consolation, giving hope for a joyful afterlife without addressing the current suffering and working towards a just society modeled after Biblical and Christian values.

As Christians, we have to admit that our faith communities and their leadership have often been and are even today at times guilty of accepting social conditions that are contradicting Biblical and Christian values. We, as Christians, often failed those who are suffering and ultimately Christ when we are cooperating with those in power, defending unjust social structures that privilege some and disadvantage others and avoiding translating our faith values into policies. The Beatitudes make it clear that we are called to become involved in our communities, in our society, and in the affairs of the global community.

This is perhaps best expressed through Christ’s reference to “righteousness,” which in the Sacred Scriptures refers to serving the marginalized, weak, and poor; to speak on behalf of those who have no voice; and to work for a fair and just society modeled after the teaching of Christ. This is what many of the saints, who we remember on today’s Solemnity of All Saints, did through their prayer and action.

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