The Beatitudes occur at the beginning of Jesus' infamous Sermon on the Mount, and seniors will find them at the start of Matthew 5. The series of verses that run from 3 through 10 are generally considered the Beatitudes, and they are eight blessings spoken by Jesus.
Some people compare the Beatitudes with the 10 commandments of the Old Testament. The 10 commandments provide a checklist of what we should not do under God's law while the Beatitudes provide a list of positive qualities that are to be blessed.
At Bethesda Senior Living Communities, we attempt to live and work according to each of these lists, and we know that many seniors of faith who live in our communities do the same. Whether you've memorized the Beatitudes over the years or you're just discovering them for the first time, here are a few takeaways from these popular verses for seniors.
Seniors have lived this truth out over the decades, but it's still good to read a reminder from time to time. Jesus doesn't open his sermon promising perfection on this earth, because he knows that will only come when we are done with our lives here. In fact, he's pretty clear that there will be suffering and mourning. But, he says, those who go through these trials with a heart for God are blessed. Theirs is the kingdom of heaven, and they will be comforted.
No matter what age you are, knowing that God offers you these blessings, even in times of trouble, can be comforting and help you put one foot in front of the other as you move through whatever life has to offer.
Even on this earth, where we know perfect people and lives don't exist outside of Jesus, good deeds still mean something. Jesus reminds us that those who seek righteousness, show mercy, make peace and strive to be pure in heart will be blessed. God will show them mercy, fill them with spirit, call them children and allow them to come to know him, including ultimately seeing his face.
Whether you've worked all your life to do good things or not, doing them in your later years can seem exhausting. Don't let time or a cynical nature stop you from being one of these people who will be blessed. As Paul says, "Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up." (Galatians 6:9)
Jesus ends the introduction to his sermon with a blessing that doubles as a warning. Living as one who is blessed under the formula of the Beatitudes means living as someone who may be persecuted by the world. Jesus tells his followers not to bend or turn away from their duty when faced with this persecution, but to rejoice and be glad.
Because no matter what is going on in your life at this moment, the eventual blessing and reward in heaven is great.
Posted on Fri, July 26, 2019
by Shawn Deane