On my first pilgrimage to the Holy Land, one of the most memorable places we visited was the Mount of Beatitudes where Jesus actually spoke the words from today’s gospel. It was a warm March day and brilliant red anemones dotted the green hillside that descended to the still water of the Sea of Galilee. Jeff and I perched upon one of the many dark rocks partially embedded in the grassy slope and read the words of Jesus from our Bibles. It was a breathtaking moment for me, imagining that Jesus was inviting me to be part of his kingdom.
His is an eternal kingdom no matter what the political situation may be on earth. The rules of Jesus’ kingdom remain unchanged. As we live the life of Jesus through the liturgical year, we see week after week how Jesus met the requirements of those who shall inherit the Kingdom. He was humble, lowly, neglected, merciful, pure, a peacemaker, and he was persecuted for doing good. These characteristics sum up the kind of person for whom the Beatitude promises are geared. Jesus asks us to imitate Him so that we can live with him eternally. He wants us to inherit his kingdom and generously offers it to everyone.
Jesus’ words spoken on the Mt. of Beatitudes are truer than any campaign promise, any code or constitution, or any ideology. Those who will inherit God’s Kingdom are those that live by the humble example that Jesus showed to us through his life. He did not expect to be served but to serve. He did not defend himself yet always spoke the truth. He never put himself first even when his physical body was tired. His entire life was to do the will of his Father. It’s easy to see how that type of life would be rewarded by his Father in heaven and how it would also hold true for those on earth that live that example. How great must be their reward!
Though we may want to live a life now that is always just and everyone gets along, that is what we will gain in the next life for trying to live that way now. Our mission is to live the kingdom now and look with hope to the day we all live there together with Christ forever. Don’t let the politics of today thwart you from the hope of the Kingdom of God.
About the Author:
Emily Cavins received her BA in Classical and Near Eastern Archaeology from the University of Minnesota and has participated in several excavations in Israel. She is a tour leader of annual pilgrimages to Israel and other Bible related destinations with husband Jeff Cavins. www.jeffcavins.com Emily’s current project, the Gen2Rev Storybook: A Walk through the Catholic Bible introduces children and educators to salvation history and makes a vital link between the Bible, Mass and the Catholic Faith. Gen2RevCatholic.com. You can see more of Emily on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/EmilyToblerCavins/ or at Catholic Family Night: www.catholicfamilynight.com