We are accustomed to call this Gospel the Beatitudes, “Blessed are those…”, in Spanish we say ‘Bienaventurados’, which we can translate also for ‘happy are those who…’; as well as we know they are eight (8) in number:
– The poor in spirit;
– Those who mourn;
– The meek;
– Those who hunger and thirst for righteousness;
– The merciful;
– The clean of heart;
– The peacemakers;
– Those who are persecuted.
But in this version, we have nine beatitudes, since Mathew adds:
– You when they insult you and persecute you and utter every kind of evil against you falsely because of me.
Well, this is a long process of learning; it is easier to choose to suffer, rather than unexpectedly receive a cause of suffering from others: insult, persecution, every kind of evil against you falsely… But when we choose to be a committed catholic, a committed consecrated person, this is included in the pack! Even though, suffering surprises us always unprepared. The testimony of the saints helps us to overcome little by little these situations!
For instance, Fr. Palau will say: “I forget myself for your sake, for you, I throw myself into the sea, I plunge into danger” (M.R. Frag. IV, 2); why he will say that and why he is ready for suffering? Because “I love you, and I love you because you have stolen my heart. Let the chalice come, whether it be sweet or bitter; let it come; I am going to drink it” (M.R. Frag. IV, 2).
Let us allow God, let us allow the Church to steal, to take our hearts in totality, to be ready to undergo the challenges coming along our way.
“Rejoice and be glad, for your reward will be great in heaven”. It reminds me of our book “Your names are written in heaven (Lk 10, 20)”, which our Congregation of Carmelitas Misioneras Teresianas recently published with some of the testimonies of children and adults saved from sexual exploitation from the hands of the mafias of human trade. These innocent people never chose to suffer, they were stolen by the mafias, they were sold by their parents… and they entered horrible world of abuse: sexual, mental, and emotional… destroying their lives, physically and psychologically. Somehow, someone kept them going on, even though they did not know clearly that God was the one.
For us, we chose to follow Christ, with all the consequences. Let us trust in God, let us allow Him to steal our hearts to be in totality for Him, for the service of the Church, come what may! So, in the end, we can exclaim: “I must love you much because I suffer much for you” (M.R. Frag. IV, 2).