Fortunate are you, who weep now, for you will laugh. Fortunate are you, when people hate you,
when they reject you and insult you and number you among criminals, because of the Son of Man.
Rejoice in that day, and leap for joy, for a great reward is kept for you in heaven. Remember, that
is how the ancestors of the people treated the prophets.
But alas for you, who have wealth, for you have been comforted now. Alas for you, who are full,
for you will go hungry. Alas for you, who laugh now, for you will mourn and weep. Alas for you,
when people speak well of you, for that is how the ancestors of the people treated the false
When it comes to the Commandments and the Beatitudes, some Christians have the same
difficulty as we have in deciding if chicken or egg comes first. Here are some insights to help
us decide. The Ten Commandments are all about “doing”; but the Beatitudes are primarily
about “being”. It is our being that comes first; doing flows from our being. In other words, what
we do is determined by who we are. Many Christians look tired, bored, and bereft of joy,
precisely because they predicate their faith on this laborious dos and don’ts without having
discovered the love that makes it possible. It is hard to keep doing stuff when it does not flow
from our being. To paraphrase an insight from theologian James Alison, Christian faith is not
about doing good, it is not even about being good; it is all about being loved! Once we realize
that we are loved “no matter what”, our self turns noble (Beatitudes) and right actions simply
flow from us (Commandments).
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