The WORD in Other Words by Fr Honorio Mateo SVD (Paraguay)
Monday Week 10 Ordinary Time, 2 Cor 1:1-7, Mt 5:1-12
The United Nations, in 2012, declared March 20 as the International Day of Happiness in recognition of this basic goal to be happy. Bhutan became the first country to measure its people’s well-being in terms of Gross National Happiness. Norway, Denmark, Iceland, Switzerland and Finland are consistently top ranked countries in terms of happiness. The criteria: GDP per Capita, Healthy Life Expectancy at Birth, Freedom to Make Life Choices and Perceptions of Corruption among others.
The pursuit of happiness is a fundamental human goal. Jesus knew it because He knew the human heart. That is why in today‘s gospel, Jesus proposes the beatitudes as the surest way to happiness. While many search for happiness in riches, power, fame and pleasure, Jesus proposes the beatitudes to achieve it in full: poverty of spirit, sorrow, meekness, hunger and thirst for righteousness, mercifulness, cleanliness of hearts, forging peace, persecution for righteousness.
By this world ‘s standards, what Jesus teaches is absurd. For His followers however, His way is the only way to be happy and to be blessed. May the Lord grant us the grace to understand the beatitudes, accept them, and be guided by them. Be blessed! Be happy!