What are the Eight Beatitudes?

The Beatitudes are a set of teachings by Jesus promising happiness to those who follow them and obey the Lord. Jesus Christ delivered the Beatitudes during the Sermon on the Mount.

There are two versions of these teachings, one appearing in the Gospels of Matthew and the other in the Gospel of Luke. Of these, the one from Saint Matthew (Matthew 5:3–12) is used most commonly.

Here are the Eight Beatitudes:

  1. “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.”

    As mentioned, this beatitude does not literally refer to the poor, but to those who are “poor in spirit”. Thus, it refers to those who recognize the supreme authority of God and hence, do not become of their dignity, wealth, learning, etc.

    They know that all their possessions belong to God because He is the creator and proprietor of the world. Consequently, they do not have an inflated ego due to temporary wealth and prosperity.

    So, they are detached from their worldly possessions and instead spent their riches for good causes, so as to work in accordance with God’s will.

    However, when a rich man becomes attached to his wealth, he is prone to be deluded by all sorts of temptations and hence, falls down from his secure position, which he could have used to further a good cause.

  2. “Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth.”

    It means that those who are gentle, patient, and submissive to God’s will rather their own schemes and plans shall remain peaceful in life and respected by all, even after death.

    They bear with the various reverses in life as happening through God’s will and hence, remain patient and self control.

  3. “Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted.”

    The mourning referred to in this regard is not associated with mundane sorrow, but it refers to sadness due to want of spiritualism and a longing for the peace of heaven.

    Besides, it can be deep remorse or heartfelt guilt for sins, whether it is for your own sins or for those of others.

  4. “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled.”

    “Hunger and thirst for righteousness” means desiring perfect judgment, morality, and truth approved by the Lord.

    In other words, this beatitude points toward the fact that we should hanker for continuous growth in holiness in order to be united with God.

  5. “Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy.”

    Being merciful includes qualities like compassion and forgiveness for others. Plus, it includes both corporal as well as spiritual works of mercy such as feeding the hungry, clothing the naked, visiting the sick, comforting the sorrowful, admonishing sinners, and so on.

    You motive behind mercy, however, should be linked with your faith and love of God rather than mundane humane motives. The Lord’s Prayer also states, “And forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive them that trespass against us.”

  6. “Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God.”

    Everybody knows that no mortal person can see God. Nevertheless, the Lord says that those who are pure in heart, free from all evil and selfish desires can see Him.

  7. “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God.”

    Peacemakers live in peace with others and help also help others preserve peace among other people. In addition, true peacemakers help restore man’s love and relationship with God. Therefore, they can be called the children of God.

  8. “Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.”

    Those who are virtuous and obedient to God do not hesitate to suffer for the sake of justice and righteousness.

    Their suffering, however, is not a cause of worry as they become glorious by the mercy of God and receive an eternal reward, that is, the kingdom of heaven.