January 17

Reflection

The Beatitudes provide a new vision of the world. According to Jesus those who are truly blessed are not the emperors, priests or the wealthy. Rather, it is the common people, those whom earthly success has largely passed by: the poor, the meek, the persecuted, and the peacemakers. Even though they may not have worldly success, what cannot be taken away from them is their potential to live in just relationship. Jesus proclaims that as long as ordinary people stand for the right things and do not retreat before those who seem to have more power, what is right will prevail. Jesus describes a community rooted in God’s reign  organized not from the top down, but from the bottom up. If we believe in and live according to this vision, our united efforts can bring about attitudinal change. This consciousness will permeate our communities and spread out slowly to change the prevailing consciousness in our world.

Prayer

Create in me a new spirit, O Lord.

Action

What are my standards of success? How do I view “the lowly and despised of the world”? Where is my life in line with the vision of Jesus? Where do I believe in the norms of present society?

Suggested Reading

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.
Blessed are they who hunger and thirst for righteousness,
for they will be satisfied.
Blessed are the merciful,
for they will be shown mercy.
Blessed are the clean of heart,
for they will see God.
Blessed are the peacemakers,
for they will be called children of God.
Blessed are they who are persecuted for the sake of righteousness,
for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
Blessed are you when they insult you and persecute you
and utter every kind of evil against you falsely because of me.
Rejoice and be glad,
for your reward will be great in heaven.
Matthew 5

God chose the foolish of the world to shame the wise,
and God chose the weak of the world to shame the strong,
and God chose the lowly and despised of the world,
those who count for nothing,
to reduce to nothing those who are something.
1Cor 1:26-35

I think true success is intrinsic… It’s love. It’s kindness. It’s community.
Tom Shadyac

Too many of us are not living our dreams because we are living our fears.
Les Brown

The function of leadership is to produce more leaders, not more followers.
Ralph Nader

In order to carry a positive action we must develop here a positive vision.
Dalai Lama

If you have a positive attitude and constantly strive to give your best effort, eventually you will overcome your immediate problems and find you are ready for greater challenges.
Pat Riley

People deal too much with the negative, with what is wrong. Why not try and see positive things, to just touch those things and make them bloom?
Nhat Han

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