Fourth Sunday in Ordinary Time . . .
"Recently, however, I learned that some scholars are rethinking the original Greek translation. The passive 'Blessed are…' is not accurate, they say. Better the more active phrase: 'Walk on!' or 'Walk forth!' If true, it rings a different tone, a tone of doggedness, support, encouragement. God cheers us on that we might go the distance in pursuit of justice and peace. Something along these lines:
•Walk forth, you poor in spirit, you humble and powerless. Keep going. Don’t be discouraged by your poverty. The reign of God is yours.
•Walk forth, you who mourn the victims of war and hunger. Keep going. You will be consoled.
•Walk forth, you meek and gentle and nonviolent. Inherit the earth and enjoy the blessing of creation.
•Walk forth, you who hunger and thirst for justice. Don’t give up. You will be satisfied. 'Justice will roll down like waters and righteousness like a mighty stream.'
•Walk forth, you merciful. Keep showing mercy in a merciless world. Forgive everyone. Be compassionate to everyone. Show mercy to everyone. Mercy will be yours.
•Walk forth, you pure in heart. Keep going. Be filled with the light of peace and see Christ in the poor, in the enemy, in one another.
•Walk forth, you who make peace. Keep on going. Speak against war. Organize peace vigils. Write Congress, demand the troops come home, work for nuclear disarmament. Become who you are, the sons and daughters of the God of peace.
•Walk forth, you persecuted for justice. Keep going. Don’t give up. You stand on the shoulders of Dr. King, Dorothy Day and Mahatma Gandhi. Your reward will be great.
Here are the Beatitudes of Peace, uttered contrary to the anti-beatitudes of war that pulse through the veins of our culture. If we follow these guideposts, hear this encouragement, we learn, the Gospel teaches, that the God of peace is alive and at work among us--giving us God’s reign, God’s consolation, God’s creation, God’s satisfaction, God’s mercy, God’s face, God’s calling us her daughters and sons, and God’s best reward. In other words, take heart. God is leading us into the fullness of life, a life of peace. There really is good news after all."
Posted by John Dear, November 2006