Blessed …

Jesus, the divine man, the true Israelite, now speaks to the world through His disciples from the Mount of God, a new Sinai, as it were. The first word He lays before us mortals is “blessed.” This word takes us back to the very beginning; “blessed” is a creation word. It was not enough that God created the world and all that fills it. He must bless everything so that everything can live and flourish according to its design. Without a blessing nothing can function and fulfill its purpose and be fulfilled doing it. Some translations render the word here “happy” which is too weak and does not carry with it the theological implications of the word.

The truth of the matter is that to bless someone is an act of power that God has given to us humans that is anchored in creation power itself. When we as parents, for example, bless our children from the depths of our being by word, attitude, and action, a spiritual transaction takes place. That child is empowered to grow and flourish spiritually, for God has blessed that child through those parents. That child is now set to be what God created that child to be. Nothing happens in this world without a blessing. The blessing is a continuation of creation power. I have seen grown adults, often very gifted, fine Christians, who all of their life seem a little empty, a little aimless like they are missing something ill-defined. They might be missing a blessing.

Conversely, God has allowed humanity the dreadful power of the curse. To curse is to deprive a soul of power to grow and function as God designed it to do. We do not have to doubt the power of the curse; I still remember a curse that a biker gave to me once when I got too close to him with my car. That happened 30 years ago and I did not even know the guy. I still remember it, and it hurt my soul! Just think what a curse does to someone that is given by a parent or someone close?

Here in the beatitudes Jesus is gathering to Himself all humanity that is interested in a blessing to be fulfilled and empowered to be what God created us to be. Perhaps we have never had the blessing our soul longs for, or perhaps we are under curses. Be this as it may, the beatitudes are all about entering into a blessed state of being, a state that we were made for but lost because of the fall. “Blessed” is a primal word that brings us back to lost origins, to the soul’s deepest longings. Jesus is about to take us there if we can listen and receive from Him what He so ardently wishes to give each of us–a blessing!

2 Responses to “Blessed …”

  1. Michael Trollo Says:

    Fr. John,
    Orthodox Jews are very familiar with blessing and its importance. Each and every week when they celebreate the shabbatt the father will lay his hands on his children and bless them. During the blessing the father emphasises and reemphasisies that GOD has an incredible purpose for them and how special they are to God and the family. Gary Smalley and John Trent wrote a book about this “blessing” because they found that those having grown up with the blessing had no self esteem issues. Very interesting! The tremendous need we have to be affirmed and valued! Thus the fact that Jesus would value God and us so much to give His life! For the Father to love us so much that He would give His only begotten son…….Life and death are in the tongue and we often hear much about the deadly things we say but we need to learn to speak life! To bless is a power that releases power in the recipient.

  2. Mike, thanks for this comment. The more we see the deep roots of our faith in the Old Testament and ancient Hebrew culture and way of thinking, the more biblical and vital our Christian life becomes.

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