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“Seeing the crowds, he went up on the mountain, and when he sat down, his disciples came to him. And he opened his mouth and taught them saying, blessed are the poor in spirit for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.”
It is our intent during this season of Lent to consider the words of our Lord which He taught to His disciples in what we have come to call, ‘The Beatitudes.’ Nine statements that each begin with the word, ‘Blessed.’
What does it mean to be ‘blessed?’ When someone has a special gift or talent, we sometimes say that he is ‘blessed with musical talent,’ or ‘she is blessed with a great voice.’ When we say that someone is ‘blessed,’ we mean that there is something about their life that we admire because we count it as something ‘good.’
We would never think to say that someone is ‘blessed with cancer,’ or ‘blessed with blindness.’ The word ‘blessed’ doesn’t fit with either of these. Anyone who says that someone is ‘blessed with cancer’ or ‘blessed with blindness’ either doesn’t understand what it means to be ‘blessed’ or doesn’t understand what it means to have cancer or to be blind. Are they trying to say that these things are somehow really ‘good?’