Pope says Beatitudes serve as ‘Christian ID card’

Pope Francis said the Beatitudes serve as a roadmap for Christians in search of true joy and happiness, as they “outline the face of Jesus himself.”

Beginning a new series of talks on the beatitudes — the eight blessings recounted by Jesus in the Sermon on the Mount in the Gospel of Matthew — the pope said “it is difficult not to be touched by these words.”

“[The Beatitudes] contain the ‘identity card’ of a Christian because they outline the face of Jesus himself; his way of life,”  Pope Francis said during his weekly general audience on Jan. 29, Catholic News Service (CNS) reports.

Referencing the biblical account of Moses receiving the Ten Commandments on Mount Sinai, the pope said that Jesus had likewise chosen a hillside to deliver his “new commandments,” and to “teach a new law: To be poor, to be meek, to be merciful.” 

The pope said these new commandments are not just a set of rules, as Jesus’ aim was not to ”impose anything”, but to “reveal the way to happiness” by repeating the word “blessed.”

Pope Francis further invited Christians to read the beatitudes on their own so that they “may understand this very beautiful, very secure path of happiness that the Lord gives us.”

“In order to give himself to us, God often chooses unthinkable paths, perhaps those (paths) of our limitations, our tears, our defeats,” the pope said.

“It is the Easter joy that our Easter Orthodox brothers and sisters speak about; the one that bears the stigmata but is alive, who has passed through death and has experienced the power of God,” the pope said. 

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