Anne O’Brien, Deputy Chief Executive Officer: Mission, People and Culture for St Agnes’ Catholic Parish, presents our Gospel Reflections over the next few days.

Today, Anne reads from the Gospel of Matthew (5: 1-12) in which Jesus teaches the people the Beatitudes.

Today’s Gospel, Anne says, is a call to live according to the values of the Kingdom of God. These values stand in stark contrast to worldly values so it’s an invitation to a life of humility, mercy, purity, and peacemaking.

We know this message as the Beatitudes, part of the Sermon on the Mount, and they challenge us to embody these values in our daily lives, transforming our approach to life and relationships according to Jesus’ teachings.

This message presents a radical reorientation of the values that lead to true happiness.

Jesus redefines what it means to be happy in this gospel: True happiness is not found in wealth, power, or earthly success, but in spiritual qualities and attitudes.

“Happy are the poor in spirit” highlights the importance of recognizing one’s spiritual poverty and dependence on God.

“Happy are those who mourn” speaks to the promise of comfort and hope for those who grieve, recognizing the value of compassion and empathy.

“Happy are the gentle” emphasizes humility and gentleness, with the promise that such people will inherit the earth.

“Happy are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness” calls for a deep desire for justice and moral integrity, promising that such desires will be satisfied.

“Happy are the merciful” underlines the importance of showing mercy and compassion to others, with the assurance of receiving mercy in return.

“Happy are the pure in heart” points to the value of inner purity and sincerity, promising the vision of God.

“Happy are the peacemakers” highlights the call to foster peace and reconciliation, identifying peacemakers as children of God.

In closing, Anne invites us to challenge ourselves today to see if we can live via these standards.