Arriving at a level piece of ground in one piece, takes on new meaning in the light of many events being contested in the Winter Olympics. Level ground is so important for the new temples much prided today; sporting venues, airports, even car parks! Having spent time on the mountain and having chosen his Twelve, we find Jesus now on level ground with the “big four”.
- The Twelve
- The Disciples
- The crowd
- The “pagans” from Tyre and Sidon.
It is in that collective space that Jesus offers his vision and message.
What follows, we call Beatitudes, a gift for all.
This is His programme, much different from the agenda of the Little Red Book of Mao, let alone the constitutions of most nations. It is Jesus talking about the morality to guide the restored people of God.
The presence of the “big four”, in itself, is both provocative and prophetic. God’s word is now for all. It will cause great debate and opposition within Israel. The “pagans” will hear the word with joy and they, too, will be cured. An extraordinary moment in world history…which needs to be proclaimed afresh today.
Our poor and marginalised, our lost, lowly and last, need to hear His consoling words anew. The hungry and neglected need the practical help and assistance that reminds them that God is kind to all his creatures…and even kind to those who are not kind, even wicked.
This proclamation renews the vision of the God who spoke to Abraham, Moses and the great prophets.
St Alphonsus many centuries later summarised this teaching in these words, “The supreme law is the salvation of souls.”
Our fractured, disturbed, sometimes violent society, urged on by often hateful and ill-informed comment on social media, needs to hear again this vision of Jesus. It is up to us to find a way. Previous generations have done so. We, too!
We start by practising what we have heard from the Beatitudes.