Blessed Are You

Israel: A Nation Blessed by the Lord

Blessed Are You

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Blessed are the poor in spirit . . .

Blessed are the peacemakers. . .

Blessed are the pure in heart. . .

Blessed . . . Blessed . . . Blessed.

So begin the Beatitudes, one of the most quoted, most familiar passages from the whole Bible. These eight short verses have inspired and comforted—and challenged and convicted—countless people through the ages. So moving are they, in fact, that even Mahatma Gandhi, a Hindu, and the Dalai Lama, a Buddhist, have pointed to them as a source of wisdom and guidance.

And who wouldn’t be touched by the way of life Jesus describes here? We all would like to be peacemakers, to be pure in heart, and to be merciful. We may not immediately appreciate the idea of being poor in spirit, or the benefits of mourning, but we sense something attractive in the humility and selflessness that these virtues depict. Yes, the Beatitudes describe a way to Christian perfection that we all, in our heart of hearts, long to achieve.

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