Beatitudes: The Way and the End

Are the beatitudes a big deal or are they just nice life advice? Last episode, Mike “Gomer” Gormley shared the importance of aligning our values with Christ’s values. But what are Christ’s values? Today, Mike explains how the Beatitudes are the truest representation of Christ’s values and how they are essential to the life of a disciple.

Snippet from the Show
If my values or priorities do not match up with Jesus’, then I am the one who needs to change, not Jesus and not the Gospel.


Shownotes

Reading List
  • Catechism of the Catholic Church, Part 3
  • Principles of Christian Morality by Ratzinger, von Balthasar, and Schürmann
  • Sources of Christian Ethics by Fr. Servais Pinckaers 
  • What Difference Does Jesus Make? & To Know Christ Jesus by Frank Sheed
Review 

Last week we examined the values and priorities of Jesus Christ, especially as to how the things of this world corrupt the human heart. As long as there has been gold, it has always been a competitor with God for our allegiance and worship. 

This Week’s Question 

What are the truest values of Christ for us to imitate as his disciples? 

Problem 

We see all the great things that Christ has done for us – the full Paschal Mystery of the cross, resurrection, ascension, and even Pentecost – and we who respond in faith ask ourselves, “So, how now shall we live?” 

Solution 

Jesus is always communicating himself to us, so it is no wonder that the solution to how to remain faithful to Christ in our everyday lives is also bound up in how Christ was faithful to the Father. Jesus gives us the sure path and the ultimate goal in 8 sentences found in Matthew’s Gospel, verses 3-12: The Beatitudes.  These Beatitudes first correspond to the human heart’s deepest longings. Second, they fulfill the promises to Abraham and his people. Third, they show the Way of the Lord Jesus from the inside out.

Discipleship and the Beatitudes

The Catechism states clearly: “The beatitudes are at the heart of Jesus’ teaching.” And they take up the “Abrahamic promises” but in the hands of Christ those promises are re-ordered not to an earthly land, but “the kingdom of Heaven.” 

A Note on Blessing 

Jesus starts all 8 beatitudes with “Blessed” or “Happy”. These beatitudes lead us to beatitude, which is Latin for “happiness.” The difference between modern morality and ancient and medieval moralities revolves around the place of happiness in the moral worldview. Ancients and Medievals all believed that God or the gods made humans to be happy, that the desire for happiness was the most foundational human desire. Modern moralities, 700 years in the making, remove happiness altogether and retain “Law” and “Freedom”. 

Think about this. In all moralities, there is law or rules or principles of action; there is the freedom that humans have in order to put these laws, rules, or principles into action; and there is happiness as the End, Goal, or Purpose of these laws and my freedom coming together. So if the God that made you put the desire for happiness into your heart, then obeying His divine laws, the natural moral laws, even rational human laws, is actually good for me as a human person and society. 

The Beatitudes
  1. Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
  2. Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.
  3. Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth.
  4. Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied.
  5. Blessed are the merciful, for they shall obtain mercy.
  6. Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.
  7. Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God.
  8. Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

Resources

Meet Your Hosts




 

Michael “Gomer” Gormley

Michael spent 17 years in full-time parish ministry and is now the Mission Evangelist for That Man Is You!, a men’s apostolate for Paradisus Dei. Michael is a frequent speaker at conferences, retreats, and parish missions all over the US and Canada.

He is the founder and creative director of LayEvangelist.com, and hosts two popular Catholic podcasts: Catching Foxes and Every Knee Shall Bow.

He is married to his college sweetheart, Shannon, and has four beautiful and hilarious children: Kateri, Cecilia, Noah, and Thomas.

 

David “Dave” VanVickle

Dave VanVickle

Dave VanVickle fell in love with the Lord at the age of fourteen and has since dedicated his life to bringing others into a radical relationship with Christ.

He is a speaker and retreat leader who focuses on proclaiming the universal call to holiness, authentic Catholic spirituality, spiritual warfare and deliverance. Additionally, Dave has over ten years of experience assisting Priests with their ministries of exorcism and deliverance.

Dave married his late wife Amber in 2010. He now resides in Pittsburgh with his five children: Sam, Max, Judah, Josie and Louisa.

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