Zep 2:3; 3:12-13; 1Cor 1:26-31; Mt 5:1-12
Lack of power. Lack of wisdom. Lack of status. Lack of control.
We do not like these things and we will do anything to eradicate them from our lives. We try so many spiritual practices and consume all sort of self-help materials trying to get over these things. We feel confused and discouraged because they still linger despite all the time, energy, and prayers we employ to remove them.
It will help us to reflect deeply on the following words of St. Paul in 1Cor 1:26-31:
“Consider your own calling, brothers and sisters. Not many of you were wise by human standards, not many were powerful, not many were of noble birth. Rather, God chose the foolish of the world to shame the wise, and God chose the weak of the world to shame the strong, and God chose the lowly and despised of the world, those who count for nothing, to reduce to nothing those who are something, so that no human being might boast before God.”
The God who has chosen us also chose these things for us in our lives and vocations because they are the means by which He brings us to share in His own happiness, His own Beatitude, “The Beatitudes reveal the goal of human experience, the ultimate end of human acts: God calls us to His own beatitude”(CCC #1719). By the design of God, these things we consider nuisances in our lives are the very first step in our living the Beatitudes (Cf Mt 5:1-12).
We must always remember the divine origin of our desire for happiness, “This desire for happiness is of divine origin: God has placed it in the human heart in order to draw man to the One who alone can fulfill it.”(CCC #1718) God has not placed desire for happiness in our heart so that we can find that happiness by our personal effort, searching for happiness in ourselves or in created things. The undesirable things that we experience in ourselves also serve to make us turn to God and not to ourselves as the source of happiness.
Since God has placed this desire for happiness in our hearts, we never lose hope in attaining true and lasting happiness. God will not abandon us to our weaknesses, blindness, and poverty. He will do everything to bring us to the fullness of that happiness in His heavenly kingdom. God cannot frustrate the attainment of the same desires that He has lovingly put into our hearts.
This is why we must focus on Christ alone if we are going to respond to this vocation to Beatitude and not succumb to discouragement because of the many unfavorable things in our lives. Jesus Christ embodies and reflects these Beatitudes to us and make it possible for us to imitate His own blessed attitudes, “The Beatitudes depict the countenance of Jesus Christ and portray His charity.”(CCC #1717) All that we lack and need are in Jesus alone, “He (Christ) has become for us wisdom from God, as well as righteousness, sanctification and redemption.”
We have a choice to make now. We can choose to focus on the power, wisdom, status, ability, or achievement that we lack in this life and lose all hope of happiness in this life and in the life to come. By so doing, we follow the worldly spirit of senseless violence, sadness, and depression. We may even begin to think that true happiness is not possible, or it is beyond our reach. Our lives will have no meaning and we will settle for the false and transient joys of this life that leave us emptier and more frustrated.
Or we can choose to contemplate the face of Christ all the time, even as we face our nothingness and poverty. We can sense in the face of Jesus that God is always inviting us to His own happiness and making available to us all the graces that we need. We know that He understands our poverty and weaknesses, “He took our infirmities and bore our diseases” (Mt 8:17). We can place in His hands our own attitudes that frustrate our happiness and receive from Him His own beatifying attitudes.
May the God of the Beatitudes who never ceases to invite us to His own happiness give us the grace to choose to focus on His Son, Jesus Christ, and share in His attitude always so that we can have true and lasting happiness, even as we experience things that we do not really like.
Glory to Jesus! Honor to Mary!