June 6, 2016 - Perfection

Blessed are the poor in spirit,
for theirs is the Kingdom of heaven.
Blessed are they who mourn,
for they will be comforted.
Blessed are the meek,
for they will inherit the land.

Matthew 5:3-5

The Beatitudes are almost always interpreted as a statement of Christian values and goals.  But even if we can manage to believe that God wants us to be poor, it is even harder to believe he wants us to mourn.  In fact, the Beatitudes are intended to contradict the accepted theology of the day: that those who are poor, or sick or outcast are being punished for some sin they committed or that their parents committed.  In John 9:1-3, Jesus expressly rejects this theology even as the religious authorities insist that it is true (John 9:34). 

God has sympathy for, and is attentive to those who are poor, who mourn, or who are meek, and in that way they are blessed.   Even those of us who act immorally have more of God’s loving attention than those of us who are perfect (Luke 7:36).  Naturally, to the extent any of us is not in need, we are not the objects of His sympathy. Fortunately, none of us is anywhere near perfect.