In today’s gospel, Jesus gives us “The Beatitudes” to help us to understand the values we are to live by, as disciples of Jesus. When we practice the Beatitudes in our daily lives, we are truly blessed and our reward will be great in heaven.

Each of the Beatitudes starts with the word “blessed,” which is translated to mean “happiness.” Jesus — in the Sermon on the Mount — shows that Jesus really wants us to have true and lasting happiness, the happiness that the world cannot give.

The Beatitudes are the way of Christian living and a road map for those, who seek to attain the happiness of the kingdom. When we plan a long trip, first we look for directions and often use a road map to find that particular place. Nowadays, many of us use the GPS [Global Positioning System], which will give us directions to any place that we want to go.

I love my GPS and always use it, whenever I drive to some new place. I have noticed that even though the GPS tells the correct direction if we are not listening well, we may make a mistake and take the wrong direction and we will not reach the real destination.

The Beatitudes are like GPS and roadmaps to attain our eternal kingdom. We should listen and PAY ATTENTION and focus on what Jesus tells us and follow His way. Otherwise, we can easily take the wrong directions in our lives. Once we take wrong directions, it is very hard to come back and we may not reach our real destinations.

The Beatitudes offer us a way of life and invite us to identify with the poor, those who mourn, the meek, and those who hunger and thirst for justice. The Beatitudes challenge us to become compassionate persons, who are pure in heart, and to become peacemakers in our dealings with one another, in our families, and in society at large.

“As long as you did it to one of these, my brethren, you did it to me,” is the criteria for our Last Judgment. St. Mother Teresa and her sisters accepted this challenge and confirmed that: “We can live the beatitudes in the modern world.”

Let us remember that each time we reach out to help the needy, the sick, and the oppressed, we share with them an example of the promises of the beatitudes, here and now. Let us ask ourselves: “Are we going to be happy in the understanding of the world or in the understanding of Jesus’ way?” Let us experience real happiness here at present and the same happiness we will experience in eternal life!