Chapter 3: In the Light of the Master

Jesus explained with great simplicity what it means to be holy when he gave us the beatitudes. The beatitudes are like a Christian’s identity card. So, if anyone asks:, “What must one do to be a good Christian?” The answer is clear. We have to do, each in our own way, what Jesus told us in the Sermon on the Mount. In the beatitudes we find a portrait of the Master that we are called to reflect in our daily lives.

The word “happy” or “blessed” thus becomes a synonym for “holy.” It expresses the fact that those faithful to God and his word, by their self-giving, gain true happiness.

Although Jesus’ words may strike us as poetic, they clearly run counter to the way things are usually done in our world. Even if we find Jesus’ words attractive, the world pushes us toward another way of living. The beatitudes are in no way trite or undemanding, quite the opposite. We can only practice them if the Holy Spirit fills us with his power and frees us from our weakness, our selfishness, our complacency and our pride.