The overarching message of Jesus was an invitation into a new way of being, the kingdom of heaven on earth, the redemption of all things.
The Sermon on the Mount commonly referred to as the ‘Beatitudes’ was his attempt to explain how the kingdom of heaven interacts with every dimension of the human experience.
Pope Francis says that the Beatitudes are Jesus’ invitation to ‘follow him along the path of love, the path that leads to eternal (a fully alive) life.’ Whatever state we are in ‘blessed’ or ‘happy’ is the divine priority, a resonance that recalibrates our personhood. At the heart of our divine experience is a sense of self-discovery and deep contentment that helps to cement our place on planet earth. My true inheritance is realised as I discover a deep happiness and gentle repose that centres my life.
The centrepiece of the homily is, ’Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth’.Eugene Peterson says it like this, 'You’re blessed when you’re content with just who you are—no more, no less. That’s the moment you find yourselves proud owners of everything that can’t be bought.’
The psalmist says, 'LORD, you have assigned me my portion and my cup; you have made my lot secure.The boundary lines have fallen for me in pleasant places; surely I have a delightful inheritance’. Are you comfortable in your own skin? Have you found your place of belonging? These are ongoing questions that energise hope and strengthen our trust in this mystical kingdom that is working in and through us.
In a strange kind of anagrammatic twist we can transpose ‘earth’ as ‘heart’, the true place of kingdom activity percolating within, eventually pushing to the surface of our lives. As our heart finds its place of connection in the divine mystery we are exposed to a happiness that is saturated in meekness, gentleness, and contentment.