Podcast en Español
The majority of the encounters that Jesus had with people were on a one-to-one basis. He spoke to small groups or with His Apostles. The Sermon on the mountain was directed to a crowd of people, who apparently were ready to listen.
The poor, the meek, the persecuted—must have been a real “fun crowd”. Apparently Jesus had His work cut out. He saw right through them. They were in pain. We’ve all seen people in pain or maybe just when we look in the mirror. Pain shows on our face, especially when we feel betrayed, when we’ve received bad news, when something hurts. We’d like to think of our life as happy, but being happy does not always mean being free of pain. Although more than 2000 years have past since Jesus delivered the Sermon on the Mountain, the human condition has not changed much. We still come looking for healing, for answers, for direction. No secret, lots of unrest is dominating the globe. There’s madness in the air. Name calling and let’s see who can say the biggest bad words. Time to remember who we are in Christ. He’s the One who gives us our identity—our true freedom. No doubt that the people who gathered on the Mountain had hopes of hearing a solution to their problems. Perhaps some of them had hit bottom. Wrong decisions, wrong turns, immoral mistakes. Why do bad things happen to good people? Why do we have to suffer? There are no easy answers to questions that have been asked since the beginning of time. Jesus did not provide answers; He gave a preview of what is going to happen. The sad will be comforted, the poor will inherit the kingdom of heaven, the ones in pain will dance for joy. We are tempted to think that our pain is unique—that we are the only ones who have ever suffered. Not so. Speaking about the pain always makes it lose power.
That’s why Jesus said what He said. He brought the human condition out in the open. That’s why we have to keep talking to each other. No person is an island. We need each other. The cell phone, the I Pad, the computer do not have the solution. Yet, that is where many of us spend much of our time. We are forgetting how to talk with each other. Perhaps now a days Jesus would have put the Beatitudes on Facebook or Tweeter—saved Himself having to deal with people.
The machines have distanced us form one another. Much more difficult for those in need to be heard. The illusion is that no one is listening, no one cares. We need to care—to open our eyes to the poor. They will have their fill when we take care of them. The hungry will be satisfied when we provide food. The persecuted will rejoice when we offer refuge. The Kingdom starts now, not when we die. Jesus offered healing at the moment people came to Him. He never said, “Wait until you die—nothing will hurt when you’re dead.” The Lord empowered His disciples to act in His name. We are the disciples now. Therefore, the fulfillment of the promises of Jesus depend on our cooperation. We provide the arms, the eyes, the feet of Jesus. We make Him present in a world that speaks against the Gospel message. Persecution is knocking at our back door. We cannot remain indifferent. Kindness is stronger than indifference.
Jesus has given us His directives. We cannot claim ignorance. Yes, there is pain all around. Our vocation is to ease the suffering, offer healing, love those most in need.