How to Keep Your Focus on Jesus

Keeping with the theme of last week’s video, Fr. Mark-Mary tells us how to keep our focus on Jesus. Keeping in mind the Beatitudes is a great way to do that. The ancient Greek word for “blessed” is makarios (μακάριος), which was preceded by the Old Testament Hebrew word ashrei. It is a common theme in the Old Testament, but what it meant to be blessed was not that clear. Righteous men and women suffered for seemingly no reason. We all know the story of Job, for example. A sudden change of events, and someone thought to be blessed by God could start thinking his blessings were for nothing.

Then Jesus comes. It is in Jesus that we see how God is going to bless the righteous. The Beatitudes are Jesus’ self-portrait, and they point to a glory beyond this life. 

Jesus did not have great wealth, but a relationship with the Father that was much more valuable. 

Memorize the Beatitudes and let them sink in. Practice them with the diligence of an athlete preparing for a big game. Those who train for any sport repeat exercises and drills over and over until they are second nature. How much more should we prepare for spiritual battle? Use the Beatitudes as a guide for your spiritual life. Fr. Mark-Mary says it works wonders for him. 

The Beatitudes can be found in Matthew 5, and are:

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

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Meet Fr. Mark-Mary

Father Mark-Mary was ordained as a Franciscan Friar of the Renewal (CFR) in 2018 and lives at a friary in the Bronx.

The mission of the CFRs is to wholeheartedly embrace Jesus through fidelity to the Church and her Sacraments. Paired with their commitment to prayer, contemplation, and study of Sacred Scripture, the CFRs serve those around them, especially the poor, in the footsteps of Christ.

Discover beautiful music from the CFRs here.