Fourth Sunday in Ordinary Time. Year A.  29 January 2017

Everyone in the Christian Tradition has heard about ‘The Sermon on the Mount’, or almost everyone.  We have all been told that we best listen because, in our Judaic Christian Tradition, mountains or hills are sacred places…God speaks or acts on those places. Test your memory, starting with Mount Sinai.

In this extract, Jesus speaks!

The Beatitudes are a very popular choice at funerals and at weddings…so we hear them read, and sometimes beautifully proclaimed, often; and maybe that gives rise to another family discussion: “why do people choose these verses when they have a whole Bible to choose from?”

Today the Bendigo Advertiser had a small article on the much-discussed statement arising from Kellyanne Conway, the now President Trump’s adviser and former campaign manager. She invented the term ‘alternative facts’. Facts were always meant to be facts. There was meant to be a sense of truth about the facts, a sense that they had to measure up to some objectivity. But it seems no longer.

The scholars tell us that in the context of the times, the Beatitude “Blessed the pure in heart” is developed from Psalm. 24:3-4.  This says that those who can ascend “the hill of the Lord” are people who have “clean hands and pure hearts. ‘Pure in heart’ refers to people of integrity whose moral uprighteousness extends to their innermost being and whose actions and intentions correspond. The same Kellyanne chastised us for making judgements based “upon what comes out of his (Trump’s) mouth rather than look at what’s in his heart.” Really! George Orwell’s 1984 is not dead!

Other Beatitudes have inspired us and called us to work for the kingdom, now we may have to work for the preservation of our language and its meaning. Alice in Wonderland may still have a lesson for us.

 

Blessed the pure in heart:

they shall see God.

 

Mons Frank

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