Lenten Devotional – WEEK THREE of LENT

Beatitude texts for this week: Matthew 5:6-7

Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled. Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy.

Sun, Mar 7: BLESSED

If you’re a fan of the poet John O’Donohue, you may have learned the Gaelic word beannacht as another word for blessing.

This week the blessing is given to those who hunger and thirst, and then again to those who are merciful. Again, this overturns ancient expectations that blessings were primarily available to people who were especially upstanding or powerful. These Beatitudes are offered, by Christ, for those who hold the least social standing in the community, and yet who embody the compassion that Christ strives to offer all of humanity.

Ironically, the conditions that cause people to be categorized as hungry and thirsty — especially for righteousness  — or to be considered merciful, may not be ones that are desirable. We do not aspire to know bodily or spiritual hunger. We want to be the ones with the power to feed and help others, as opposed to receiving such gifts. Yet in Christ’s eyes, all people hold value, including the most unexpected among us. When we are placed in that upside-down position of needing mercy from another, or of receiving nourishment from another, we gain a new point of view about what it means to belong to each other, and to Godself. — Rev Gail

Blessed are they who see beautiful things in humble places where other people see nothing. — Camille Pissarro

Reflect upon your present blessings—of which every man has many—not on your past misfortunes, of which all men have some. — Charles Dickens

Enjoy the little things, for one day you may look back and realize they were the big things. — Robert Brault

Those born to wealth, and who have the means of gratifying every wish, know not what is the real happiness of life, just as those who have been tossed on the stormy waters of the ocean on a few frail planks can alone realize the blessings of fair weather. Alexandre Dumas

Challenge or Question: Identify a blessing within your life. One aspect of your life for which you are grateful. Give thanks for it. Say a prayer, write it in a journal, or light a candle to acknowledge this blessing.

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