Jesus meant the Beatitudes to be central to his New Law, the way the Ten Commandments are to the Old Law.

Saturday, 11/14/15

The Gospel urges us to pray without ceasing, but since I have nothing more to say about that, let me switch to saying a few words about the Beatitudes. Jesus meant them to be as central to the New Law as the Ten Commandments were to the Old Law.

Chapter twenty-four of Exodus recounts the way the Old Law was ratified, While Moses had the Israelite community assemble at the foot of Mount Sinai, he brought the leaders of the Twelve Tribes up the mountain with him. Then, going  farther to where he was alone with the Lord, he inaugurated the Old Law with his great One-liners, the Ten Commandments.

With the New Law, Jesus did something similar. Leaving the people at its foot of the mountain, he brought the Apostles up with him. Then, in his role as God’s Son, he alone sat. Then, opening his mouth, he inaugurated the New Law with his own great One-liners, the Beatitudes:

 Blessed are the poor in spirit, theirs is the kingdom of heaven.”
“Blessed are they who mourn, they will be comforted.”
“Blessed are the meek, they will inherit the earth.”

Somehow, the Beatitudes have never caught on with us. All that the people confess in  the confessional are lapses in keeping the Ten Commandments. 

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