The Pursuit of Happiness

At a dinner party the other evening, a question was posed: “What is your idea of happiness?” Everyone strives to be happy, but everyone has a different idea of what that word means! Many pursue money, power and position as a means to happiness. Others see physical exercise as a means to a pleasant life. Still others seek more spiritual goals in prayer and meditation as the blessed road.

In each case the pursuit of happiness has a cost. What will people sacrifice for happiness? In our Gospel today, happiness meant “blessed”. The cost was reputation and the danger of persecution. The reward was the Kingdom.

In the Beatitudes, Jesus gives a blueprint for right living. While the Beatitudes may seem idealistic, they are quite ordinary and accessible to anyone serious about faithful discipleship. Moreover, they are the very attitudes that lead to what Jesus promises – a share in the “kingdom of heaven.”

Today’s feast places before us the canonized saints in heaven, those whom we’ve known in our lives who are also in heaven, as well as those living among us now who model for us right living. We look to those on earth to support us by their example!

What can you do today to live out the Beatitudes in the pursuit of happiness?