FOURTH SUNDAY OF THE YEAR
The best portraits are those that convey something of the spirit of the subject. The Sermon on the Mount, which is probably a compilation of several sermons, takes us to the heart of Jesus. It’s the closest we have to a self-portrait of the Lord. All the sayings proclaimed in the Sermon become flesh and blood in Him. We are told that He sat down and began to speak. When a rabbi sat down he was about to deliver an important teaching. When he opened his mouth to speak, he was opening his heart. The teaching of Jesus, expressed in the form of nine ‘Beatitudes’ is an exaltation of the ordinary. It’s a blueprint for happiness. It’s a call to a way of life that is attainable, but it does stand the values of the world on their head. The poor, the meek, the merciful, the peacemakers, the ‘nobodies’ of this world have built their house on rock and they will have their reward, while those who pursue power, prestige, possessions, pleasure, popularity have laid their foundations on sand and their house will crumble. The Beatitudes are the attitudes to which we should aspire.