So, if we all desire happiness, and the teachings of Jesus promise happiness – why is there any reluctance in the world to become a follower of Jesus ?
As we know, things aren’t quite that simple. The happiness Jesus offers often entails short-term trials and pain before eternal joy and glory. Whereas the world offers short-term gratification but fails to grasp the eternal.
This is why much of the task of sharing our faith involves encouraging people to step back and to take the long view of life – to accept that the boundaries of life are beyond this world. Our desire to become missionary disciples must grapple with this problem. In a culture that demands instant gratification, things that take time are often dismissed. And surely we are bringing up a generation of children who often have no sense of what it is to toil, to contemplate, to savor, to commit.
The Beatitudes are a powerful reminder that what is of value can take time to be revealed. Each of the Beatitudes begin with a current reality which will eventually bear fruit. They require trust and confidence in God – and that long view of life.
As we hear those familiar words this weekend – lets redouble our efforts to allow ourselves to be reassured by God’s assurance that the final victory will go to love.