The Beatitudes - pr_209624

The Beatitudes

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In this book the Beatitudes, as found in the Gospel of Matthew, are presented as the self-interpretation of Jesus. Each Beatitude finds its primary definition in Jesus himself. For example, he himself defines what it means to be "poor in spirit." Jesus is also presented as the promise and the blessing to those whom he addresses in each case. With Jesus at the center, the Beatitudes are extended first to the immediate circle of his disciples who have known and and followed him throughout history. They also apply, however, in some secret sense, to those who do not yet know and follow him for who he is. The Beatitudes are divided into two sets of four, with the ninth serving as the overall conclusion. The first four Beatitudes pertain to The Needy, while the second four pertain to The Faithful. The final Beatitude pertains to religious persecution. The discussion of each Beatitude ends with a practical application. The topics considered with respect to The Needy are Christian responsibility to the poor, the ministry of listening, the spirituality of meekness, and the proper care of the earth. With respect to The Faithful, the topics include what mercy looks like in action, purity of heart as sacramentally based, restorative justice as a contemporary example of peacemaking, and dramatic instances of nonretaliation on the part of the righteous being persecuted. The book concludes with a meditation on persecution: the persecution and martyrdom of Christians as well as some persecutions undertaken by Christians (especially of the Jews). The hope of universal salvation is raised at the end by attending to Catholic, Evangelical, and Eastern Orthodox voices.

Product code: 9780809106141

ISBN 9780809106141