Authentic Christian Credentials

Challenge: Break the chains of fear that are holding you back from following Christ.
by Father Thomas Moylan, LC | Source:

June 9, 2008
Monday of the Tenth Week in Ordinary Time

Matthew 5: 1-12
When Jesus saw the crowds, he went up the mountain, and after he had sat down, his disciples came to him. He began to teach them, saying: "Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are they who mourn, for they will be comforted. Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the land. Blessed are they who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be satisfied. Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy. Blessed are the clean of heart, for they will see God. Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God. Blessed are they who are persecuted for the sake of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are you when they insult you and persecute you and utter every kind of evil against you falsely because of me. Rejoice and be glad, for your reward will be great in heaven. Thus they persecuted the prophets who were before you."

Introductory Prayer: Lord, I believe in you wholeheartedly, trusting that with you I can do all things. I hope in you with childlike confidence. I love you, for you alone are my Lord and my God.

Petition: Lord, release me from my fears so that I may follow you.

1. Christian Credentials Our Lord lays out his plan of salvation, and his innovative program breaks our worldly view of what is important. He calls “blessed” those who mourn, those who are meek, and those who are pure of heart. What would be called weaknesses according to worldly standards, or considered things to avoid, he elevates to a means of holiness. He requires a different form of credentials: not as the world sees….

2. Take a Stand Christ blesses those who pursue virtue, decency and honesty. He blesses those who show mercy, forgiveness, compassion, kindness, selflessness. Is there something in my life that rejects this call to holiness? What takes precedence in my spiritual life? Christ invites us to take a stand, a Christian stand, just as he invited his first followers to become examples for others by the way they lived in this world.

3. Christian Heroism Christ invites us to embrace insults, persecution, and false accusations for his sake. He asks us to offer the other cheek and to forgive our enemies and pray for them. “For his sake” has captured the hearts of countless ordinary saintly souls throughout the ages. Only when we bless those who make us suffer can we truly love Christ; and forgiving those who make false accusations against us requires true Christian heroism. Gossip destroys many lives – how easy it is to criticize others, to judge wrongly. When gossip reaches our ears, may it always find a dead end and cease to exist!

Conversation with Christ: Thank you, Lord, for explaining to me what is truly important as I travel along this life’s journey.

Resolution: I will break the chains of fear that are holding me back from following Christ.

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