‘For guaranteed happiness consult and live the Beatitudes’

Audience Pope

Pope Francis made this observation to faithful gathered at the General Audience, which took place in the Vatican’s Paul VI Hall. Pope Francis started a new series of catechesis, following his last series on the Acts of the Apostles, on the Beatitudes in Matthew’s Gospel.

Jesus, the Holy Father underscored, does not impose them but instead proposes them as the path to true happiness in the future that God promises to his faithful people.

“It will do us good,” the Jesuit Pontiff encouraged, “to take Matthew’s Gospel today, Chapter Five, verses one to eleven and read the Beatitudes — perhaps once more during the week — to understand this very beautiful way, so certain of bringing happiness, which the Lord proposes to us.”

Way to attain joy

God, the Argentinian Pope recognized, often chooses unthinkable ways to give Himself to us, perhaps those of our limitations, of our tears, of our defeats. “The Beatitudes,” he reminded, “always lead us to joy; they are the way to attain joy.”

Christ’s teaching of these “new commandments” from a hillside, Francis says, resembles how Moses gave the Commandments on Mount Sinai.

They are, Pope Francis repeated as he has underscored in the past, an “identity card” for Christians.  They also, the Pontiff noted, explain that we are blessed not by our present situation, but rather by the new condition that is ours by God’s grace.

“This first sermon of Jesus thus presents eight ‘doors’ through which we can encounter the power of God’s love to transform our lives and history. The Beatitudes point us beyond our limitations, tears and failures towards that Paschal joy born of Christ’s own victorious passage from death to life.”

The Holy Father gave a special greeting to English-speaking pilgrims, reminding “upon all of you and your families, I invoke the joy and peace of our Lord Jesus,” he said.