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the secret to happiness
Jesus "began to teach them: 'How blest are the poor in spirit: the reign of God is theirs.' " —Matthew 5:2-3
Jesus proclaims that He alone knows the secret to happiness. He says that happiness is:
- choosing to be poor rather than rich (Mt 5:3),
- sorrowing in repentance for our sins rather than feeling good (Mt 5:4),
- becoming lowly rather than getting high (Mt 5:5),
- hungering for holiness rather than getting what we want (Mt 5:6),
- giving others a break rather than getting our rights (Mt 5:7),
- having nothing but Jesus rather than having everything (see Mt 5:8),
- dying for our enemies rather than killing them (see Mt 5:9), and
- being insulted, persecuted, and slandered because of Jesus rather than being popular (Mt 5:10-11).
Many people think Jesus is a fool (see 1 Cor 1:25). What He calls the secret of happiness seems to them the way to misery. However, some people have believed Jesus. They didn't necessarily understand the Beatitudes, but they believed them and tried to live them just because Jesus said them. They walked "by faith, not by sight" (2 Cor 5:7). These people became the happiest people on earth and perfectly happy in heaven. Jesus was right all along.
Will you believe Jesus, look like a fool, live the Beatitudes, and be happy? Or do you think you know more about happiness than Jesus does?
Prayer: Father, may I be as happy as Your Son's death and resurrection warrants.
Promise: "He comforts us in all our afflictions and thus enables us to comfort those who are in trouble, with the same consolation we have received from Him." —2 Cor 1:4
Praise: Jesus healed Larry from severe asthma.
Rescript: †Most Reverend Joseph R. Binzer, Auxiliary Bishop, Vicar General of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, December 18, 2014
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