Christians believe Jesus of Nazareth to be the Christ, the Son of God, who allowed himself to be sacrificed and who died for the good of all humankind. Although Jews and Muslims – who are, currently, respectively in the midst of Passover and Ramadan — reject the notion of Jesus’ divinity, I understand that they nonetheless hold him a great prophet. I will venture that the vast majority of those who are aware of Jesus and his teachings, even those who do not believe in a Supreme Being, consider him to have been a wise and good man. Given the bitter discord in which we seem endlessly enmeshed within both our nation and our world, it seems appropriate on this day to record his succinct summation of his teachings.
“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 shall be comforted.
Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the land.
Blessed are they who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied.
Blessed are the merciful, for they shall be shown mercy.
Blessed are the clean of heart, for they shall see God.
Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called Children of God.
Blessed are they who are persecuted for the sake of righteousness, for theirs is the Kingdom of Heaven.’”
- Matthew 5: 2 – 10