2nd Sunday of Advent - Year C - 9th December 2018
Pope Francis in his pastoral letter ‘Rejoice and Be Glad’ (Gaudete et Exultate) speaks about the call to holiness for everyone in today's world. He describes the eight Beatitudes given in the Sermon on the Mount as the Christian identity card (MT 5 3-12).
4th Beatitude— ‘Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled.’
Paragraph 77—Hunger and thirst are intense experiences since they involve basic needs and our instinct for survival. These are those who desire justice and yearn for righteousness with similar intensity, Jesus says that they will be satisfied, for sooner or later justice will come. We can co-operate to make that possible, even if we may not always see the fruit of our efforts.
Paragraph 79—True justice comes about in people lives when they themselves are just in their decisions, it is expressed in their pursuit of justice for the poor and the weak.
Paragraph 80—Mercy has two aspects. It involves giving, helping and serving others, but it also includes forgiveness and understanding. Matthew sums it up in one golden rule; In everything do to others as you would have them do to you (Mt 7 12) .
Paragraph 81—Giving and forgiving means reproducing in our lives in our lives some small measure of God’s purification, which give and forgive superabundantly. Seeing and acting with mercy : that is holiness.
6th Beatitude—’Blessed are the pure of heart, for they will see God.’
Paragraph 83—This Beatitudes speaks of those whose hearts are simple, pure and undefiled, for a heart capable of love, for a heart capable of love admits nothing that might harm weaken or enrage that love. The bible uses the heart to describe our real intentions, the things we truly seek and desire, apart from all appearances, ‘Man see the appearance but the Lord looks into the heart.’ (1 Sam 16:7).
Paragraph 86—A heart that loves God and neighbour (MT 22:36-40) genuinely and not merely in words, is a pure heart; it can see God.
Keeping a heart free of all that tarnishes love: that is holiness.
Fr Ray Armstrong CM