By Navasart M. Mardoyan
“BLESSED are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven;
BLESSED are those who mourn, for they will be comforted;
BLESSED are the meek, for they will inherit the earth;
BLESSED are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled;
BLESSED are the merciful, for they will receive mercy;
BLESSED are the pure in heart, for they will see God;
BLESSED are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God;
BLESSED are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven;
BLESSED are you when people revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account. Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.”
This section from the Gospel of Matthew is considered, by some, as the heart of Christian teaching. Chapters 5-7 of Matthew are referred to as “The Little Gospel” or “The Sermon on the Mount,” and it is where we find the most fundamental teachings of Christ. Khrimian Hayrig called these chapters “The Diamonds of the Kingdom of Heaven.”
The common interpretation of these nine “blessings” is the spiritual courage of people yearning for justice, happiness, peace, dignity and holiness. Jesus addresses those who are experiencing unfortunate circumstances and/or life situations. These are people “poor in spirit,” humble souls, needy. He addresses those who are deprived of rights and goodness, who are sinners, but want to achieve holiness. He addresses those who are longing for peace, who are persecuted and abused, who are the target of gossip. These are people who have suffered or are impoverished, or are in otherwise depraved situations.
He reaches out to those who have been persecuted or abused, and are longing for peace in their lives. With His words of encouragement and hope, He uplifts their spiritual awareness. Moreover, with His words of enlightenment, He uplifts the value and dignity of mankind. These “blessings” assure all people that God will not abandon them. They will enjoy God’s love and His fatherly care.
Jesus provides hope, courage, faith and love to mankind, because people without these virtues are the oppressors of their fellow men.
It is our duty, as Christians, to be worthy of these graces by our humble deeds, noble thoughts and loyal behavior. Peace, holiness, happiness and justice come from God for He is the ruler of all. He grants grace to us all. May we all keep these “blessings” in mind throughout our lives.